How the Knicks can navigate Joakim Noah's albatross contract

How the Knicks can navigate Joakim Noah's albatross contract

Reports suggest Noah has been upset with his lack of playing time and shouted at coach Jeff Hornacek after being pulled from the fourth quarter against the Warriors last Wednesday.

Noah remains away from the team for what the Knicks are calling "personal reasons".

The Knicks have ramped up efforts to trade Noah, but they're also considering buying out his contract, Yahoo reported Monday.

But in light of recent events, the Knicks have made a decision to roll up their sleeves and get to work.

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Of course, moving Noah will be no easy feat. In an age where teams have gotten somewhat smarter (besides Michael Jordan's Hornets) about not throwing money around like Jordan Belfort, Noah's deal has been so bad that some have argued it's the team's worst ever. Noah's clash with Hornacek reportedly was fiery but stopped short of turning physical. His production and durability doesn't make him a particularly trade asset to begin with, but Noah still has two years and $37 million remaining on his contract after this season In a summer when few teams are projected to have cap space, taking on Noah's contract would be a deal-killer for nearly every team. Instead of having a five-year cap hit if Noah was waived now or in July, New York would have a $6,431,667 hit for 2019-20, 2020-21 and 2021-22.

Unless Noah changes his mind, this would be a roadblock to any buyout agreement between the veteran center and the Knicks. He's in the second year of a four-year, $72 million deal, and he's been out of the rotation. Noah will not give the Knicks a break on the two-and-a-half years and roughly $45 million remaining on his contract, with the Knicks seeking a way out of the money owed the disgruntled veteran.

While the organization would love to trade the 32-year-old before the February 8 deadline, it won't be easy to convince another team to take on more than $37 million over the next two years. He played in just 46 games last season due to arthroscopic knee surgery and violating the league's anti-drug policy, the latter of which resulted in a 20-game suspension. He has no trade value, so the Knicks would either have to attach a draft pick or young asset in a salary dump or negotiate a buyout.

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