Knicks Notes: Noah, Ntilikina, Anthony, McDermott

The addition of Enes Kanter in Saturday’s Carmelo Anthony trade makes center Joakim Noah a stronger candidate for the stretch provision, writes Marc Berman of The New York Post. The Knicks signed Noah to a four-year, $72MM free agent deal last summer, and he is owed $55MM over the next three seasons. Kanter will make $20.5MM+ this season and has a player option worth more than $18.6MM for 2018/19, so that’s a lot to pay two centers when Willy Hernangomez and Kyle O’Quinn are also on the roster.

Noah had a nightmarish first season in New York marked by disappointing performance, shoulder surgery and a drug suspension that will carry through the first 11 games of this year. Knicks management may want to get him off the roster, but the deadline to stretch this season’s salary passed on August 31, so the team is stuck with his $17.765MM and the accompanying cap hit. It could use the stretch provision on the $37.825MM Noah is owed over the final two years of his contract, paying $7.565MM a year over the next five seasons.

There’s more from New York this morning:

  • The Knicks view Frank Ntilikina as their point guard of the future, but veterans Ramon Sessions and Jarrett Jack will probably compete to be the opening-night starter, Berman adds in the same piece. A bruised knee forced the rookie to miss summer league, and the Knicks want to let him grow into the job, which GM Scott Perry believes is as difficult as being an NFL quarterback. Ron Baker, who re-signed this offseason, will spend more time at shooting guard.
  • Anthony was popular in the locker room, but was never seen by his teammates as a leader, Berman writes in a separate piece. Two of his former coaches, Mike D’Antoni and George Karl, thought he valued individual achievements and his personal agenda more than winning. Berman also wonders how much of Anthony’s prime is still left at age 33.
  • The Knicks hope Doug McDermott, who was also acquired in the Anthony deal, will give them a three-point threat who can handle both forward positions, Berman adds. One scout calls him a taller version of Kyle Korver.
  • If Kanter opts in for next season and McDermott isn’t re-signed, the Knicks will have saved about $8MM by trading Anthony, according to ESPN’s Ian Begley.
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7 thoughts on “Knicks Notes: Noah, Ntilikina, Anthony, McDermott

  1. Philly Fan

    The Knicks shouldn’t even consider using the stretch provision on Noah. They’re not signing any free agents (other than their own) anytime soon. To tie up future cap space for cap space immediately is extremely short sighted.

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    • padam

      Agreed. They just need to take their medicine and draft well.

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  2. x%sure

    $8MM? I get $5.1 for 2017/18 and $9.3 for 18/19, but yes they are still over the cap. There is nothing that will come from the trade except a worse record. The link suggested the team did better without Melo but it is a long season. When NY says they wanted to keep Melo out of the East they admit his value.
    There was and still is trades to be made between NY and Cleve.

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    • x%sure

      PS-I’m referring to NY’s cap savings. Kanter’s trade kicker would make NY’s gains even less, about $2.6MM, but regardless, the money saved won’t do anything.
      Cleveland has too many guaranteed but too few centers. NY has too many centers…

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  3. Berman learned a new word and feels obligated to use it. The stretch provision is for teams that want to avoid luxury tax or accelerate cap space due to an immediate need for it. Not for rebuilding teams well below the tax line. If, for any reason, the Knicks did decide to just release Noah, I’m pretty certain they would just take the 19 mm hit in each of 2018-19 and 2019-20. That way he is off the books when they might be in a position to attract a high end FA. Plus, it’s not even clear that the 11.5 mm difference in Noah’s number in those 2 years (between 19 mm and 7.5 mm) would translate into actual “cap” space (at all, let alone beyond the 8.2 mm mid-level), in fact, right now (without other salary movement or a huge rise in the cap), it wouldn’t. Bottom line, Noah, unlike Melo, is a guy who will serve as a good mentor for his young teammates even if he’s not playing a lot. If he gets healthy and looks even a little more like his old self, then he can probably be traded for a semi-bad contract.

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    • ssball

      It would reduce the luxury tax payment to stretch him. That seems like a good reason to do it.

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      • Knicks won’t pay luxury tax this year or next. They aren’t close the tax line and likely wouldn’t be next year even if they gave a max contract to Kanter (unlikely).

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