When free agency opens tomorrow (July 1), the New York Knicks are expected to meet with Joakim Noah in the afternoon and come to an agreement with the former Chicago Bulls center. The New York native had interest in coming home to play for the team, and that interest is mutual as the Knicks made the center position priority number one coming into the off-season. Head coach Jeff Hornacek hinted at this saying a complimentary spot-up shooter to start alongside Derrick Rose would be easier to find than a dominating paint presence.
Noah would be joining his teammate of eight years, newly acquired Rose who said he was recruiting Noah to come play in NYC with him. If healthy, both will look to power the Knicks back into the post-season for the first time since 2012. The former defensive player of the year is coming off of a sub-par season appearing in only 29 games in 2015, a career low before injuring his shoulder.
The 31-year-old will look to get back to the form that had him in the MVP discussions a few years ago after averaging less than five points per game this past season, another career low. Noah will definitely bring an attitude and presence in the middle to anchor the defense for the Knicks, which they have lacked for years. His exquisite passing ability out of the post also makes him a perfect fit for the triangle offense. Look for him to be a fan favorite with the intensity he brings to the floor every night. With Noah in town, the Knicks have one of the best front courts in the NBA.
We know all about the war of words the former Florida Gator has had in the past with LeBron James, who’s ran the eastern conference this decade.
According to Tim Bontemps on Twitter, the contract will earn Noah an average of $18 million dollars per year. The duration of the contract on the table is not yet known.
Sources: Joakim Noah is expected to reunite with Derrick Rose & return to NYC on a deal starting around $18 million. https://t.co/0W3KSrlPcl
— Tim Bontemps (@TimBontemps) June 30, 2016
Once the Knickerbockers sure up the front court, look for the focus to quickly turn to the shooting guard position with their remaining cap space. Some names to keep an eye on going forward are Courtney Lee, Jamal Crawford, Eric Gordon and Kent Bazemore.
Welcome home Joakim!