There long has been talk that Joakim Noah is likely to sign with the New York Knicks in free agency, and it sounds like that is the case.
The Washington Post’s Tim Bontemps reports that Noah will almost certainly be signing with the Knicks for around $18 million per season.
ESPN’s Marc Stein is hearing much of the same from teams around the league:
Have heard the same lament from multiple interested teams tonight: They see New York as a big favorite to land Joakim Noah in free agency.
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) June 30, 2016
The phrasing tends to be the same from every team we ask with Joakim Noah interest: We don't have a chance because the Knicks are his choice
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) June 30, 2016
Noah only played in 29 games last season after suffering a shoulder injury that required surgery. He also spent the majority of the season coming off the bench for the first time in years, which in part contributed to his production dropping off dramatically. The 31-year-old big man averaged 4.3 points and 8.8 rebounds per game and was not happy with his role.
Noah seemed to be on his way out with the Bulls, and that was pretty much confirmed when Chicago acquired Robin Lopez from the Knicks as part of the Derrick Rose trade. If Noah does sign with the Knicks, he’ll continue to be teammates with Rose.
The New York Knicks appear intent on reconstructing the prime Chicago Bulls of the past several years.
According to Marc Berman of the New York Post, Joakim Noah is the Knicks’ primary target in free agency as they search for a center.
Berman characterizes the Knicks as “desperate” for a starting center to complete a lineup that includes Carmelo Anthony, Kristaps Porzingis, and now Derrick Rose.
Noah sounds likely to leave Chicago once free agency opens up. Rose has already said that he will try to recruit Noah to join him in New York, and with that in mind, they may prove to be an appealing option for the veteran big man. However, it sounds like they will have competition from both Noah’s former coach and a team prepared to give him a significant payday this summer.
NBA teams have a tendency to be a little reckless with their money during the commotion of free agency. But the Washington Wizards are taking that to a near-unprecedented level.
According to a report by Mitch Lawrence of Sporting News on Friday, the Wizards are prepared to offer former Defensive Player of the Year Joakim Noah a full max contract once Noah officially becomes an unrestricted free agent in July. A max deal for Noah would start at $28 million and would reach as high as $120 million over four years.
Such huge money would be sheer madness for the 31-year-old Noah, who is coming off the worst season of his NBA career thanks to various injuries and a marginalized role on the Bulls. It might also severely hamper the future flexibility of the Wizards as they already have more than $110 million committed to the John Wall/Marcin Gortat/Markieff Morris trio alone over the next three years. They have the restricted free agency of young guard Bradley Beal (who looks like he will be getting a max deal of his own) to worry about this summer as well.
Simply put, Noah might not be worth even half of that dollar figure right now. But Washington seems desperate after missing the playoffs for the second year in a row and now having a need in their frontcourt with Nene’s deal expiring. While the Timberwolves and the Knicks may also be major contenders for Noah’s services, don’t underestimate the power of that desperation (combined with an irrational spending complex) to get Noah into a Wizards uniform next season, for better or for worse.
The Chicago Knicks movement is officially out in full force.
After rattling the basketball universe by trading for Derrick Rose on Wednesday, the New York Knicks could now make a run at Rose’s longtime Bulls teammate Joakim Noah, according to a report by Ian Begley of ESPN.
With Derrick Rose on board, some in the Knicks organization want to make a run at Joakim Noah. Details: https://t.co/N8YU0Sddru
— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) June 22, 2016
Begley cites Noah’s closeness with Rose, his “good relationship” with Knicks star forward Carmelo Anthony and the fact that Noah grew up in New York. The report also mentions that the team will have over $30 million of cap room to go into free agency with this summer and that Dwight Howard would consider signing with them (though Howard seems likely to command max-level money, and it’s not sure at this point if the interest is at all mutual).
The Knicks suddenly have a decent-sized hole in their frontcourt after attaching Robin Lopez to the Rose deal. They have the dollar figures necessary to go after the top brand-name big men on the market this offseason such as Howard, Al Horford, and Pau Gasol. But Noah could represent the perfect middle ground for them. Looking to rebuild his value after an injury-ravaged, role-diminished last couple of seasons, the former Defensive Player of the Year may have to settle for a cheap, short-term deal, perhaps similar to what Rajon Rondo got from the Kings last summer. Noah is a team-first player who doesn’t require a lot of touches on offense, but can create opportunities from the high post when need be. He would also help provide the Knicks with a strong defensive identity, something they haven’t really had for the last several seasons running.
The Knicks will probably have to repel other challengers (including Noah’s former head coach in Chicago) to land the two-time All-Star. But it’s a possibility they should definitely explore as Noah’s potential fit in New York goes well beyond just the familiarity factor.
H/T NBA Reddit
Thibodeau’s Avengers, assemble?
According to a report by Mitch Lawrence of the Sporting News on Sunday, the Minnesota Timberwolves are set to pursue Joakim Noah in free agency.
The Timberwolves, of course, recently hired Tom Thibodeau, Noah’s longtime coach on the Chicago Bulls, to serve as their head coach and president of basketball operations. Noah, for his part, is an unrestricted free agent this summer and appears disillusioned with Bulls management, even apparently going so far as to tell teammates that he is done with the organization.
The 31-year-old Noah has been in Chicago for his entire nine-year career thus far. But injuries limited him to just 29 games in 2015-16 with meager averages of 4.3 points per game, 8.8 rebounds per game, and 3.0 assists per game.
The former Defensive Player of the Year was a perennial favorite of Thibodeau for his team-oriented play and his blue-collar grit on defense. With Thibodeau calling all of the shots in Minnesota, a young, up-and-coming team with nearly $30 million in projected cap room this summer and a veteran leadership role to offer Noah a la Kevin Garnett, what’s not to like?
Image Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports
Joakim Noah’s days in Chicago are reportedly numbered.
The Bulls big man has told teammates he is done with the team and has no faith in general manager Gar Forman to turn around the franchise’s fortunes, according to Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times.
Noah’s relationship with coach Fred Hoiberg is not a major factor in his feelings, with Forman the target of his ire. That feeling is reportedly echoed by a number of players.
“We know there’s at least one assistant [coach] that tells Gar everything that goes on,” an anonymous player was quoted as saying. “There’s a lot of guys that have a problem with that, and not just Jo.”
Noah’s relationship with Forman is said to be so bad that, when Forman’s wife approached him to take part in a Bulls charity auction, the famously charitable Noah declined, feeling pressured.
The players also reportedly believe that Forman faces no accountability for his roster, given his close relationship with team president Michael Reinsdorf.
Noah and Hoiberg reportedly were not on the best of terms earlier in the season, although that has apparently improved somewhat. Chicago regressed, missing the playoffs for the first time since 2008 and having their worst season since 2009-10. Noah has been a huge part of that successful stretch, but it sounds like he may not be a part of things going forward, and Forman will have to take a long, hard look at the team’s direction.
Joakim Noah is reportedly not pleased with his role with the Chicago Bulls.
The Chicago Sun Times’s Joe Cowley cited a source on Tuesday claiming that Noah “hasn’t moved past losing his starting job” and that he isn’t pleased with coach Fred Hoiberg, though he hasn’t been a distraction.
Cowley says that the Bulls hoped that winning would quiet Noah’s discontent, but that has not really happened.
Noah had been a starter for almost all of his career, so it’s not a huge surprise that he’s having some difficulty coping with a new role. After getting 30 minutes per game every year of his career since 2009, he’s been dropped to about 22 this year by new coach Hoiberg. He’s a free agent after the season, and it seems increasingly likely he’ll be assessing his options when that time comes. He’s also been the subject of trade rumors, so the Bulls seem to realize that they have a player who is feeling discontent and may be on his way out the door anyway.