When the Knicks sent Robin Lopez to Chicago as part of the Derrick Rose trade, they were confident they could replace him by signing free agent center Joakim Noah. They got their man when Noah agreed to a four-year, $72MM deal, but they haven’t gotten the production they were expecting.
The 31-year-old is averaging 4.5 points and 8.8 rebounds through 13 games, and the Knicks are concerned about both his offense and defense. He is shooting just 32% from the foul line, which is part of the reason his fourth-quarter minutes have been sharply reduced.
The Knicks played two of their best games this week with Noah sidelined by the flu, and there are whispers that he might be better suited to a bench role. He started just two of the 29 games he played in Chicago last year before his season was cut short by a separated shoulder.
Noah posted three consecutive scoreless games before the illness hit, and the offense appears more fluid with Kyle O’Quinn as the starter or Kristaps Porzingis moving to center in a small-ball lineup. Noah acknowledged this week to Marc Berman of The New York Post that he feels “a step slow” and he has been “up and down” since the season started.
With the amnesty clause not expected to be part of the new CBA, there are fears that Noah could already be a sunk cost for team president Phil Jackson. Noah’s age, injury history and poor performance to start the season are all red flags, and there is a growing belief that the Knicks are a better team without him on the floor.
That leads us to tonight’s question: Was signing Noah a mistake or is it too early to judge? And if you believe it was a mistake, which available center would have been a better option?
Take to the comments section below to share your thoughts and opinions on the topic. We look forward to what you have to say.