As we relayed earlier this week, the Knicks are expected to part ways with oft-injured center Joakim Noah before the start of training camp. If the Knicks fail to find a trading partner, the team is expected to use the stretch provision after September 1. Noah, 33, still has two years and $37.8MM left on his deal.
Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News examined both the good and bad sides of the Knicks parting ways with Noah this offseason. It would likely avoid a major headache and possible players’ union issue if the Knicks refuse to play Noah. Bondy reiterates that the deadline to solve the Noah issue is not September 1 but rather next summer when New York intends to pursue top free agents.
The Nets dealing Timofey Mozgov‘s lucrative multiyear contract for an expiring deal is one example of a team leveraging an albatross deal into future cap space. The Knicks’ best choice would be to hold onto Noah and look for trades instead of stretching his contract, Bondy writes.
Check out more Atlantic Division notes:
- In the same story, Bondy looked at the pros and cons of the Knicks extending Kristaps Porzingis this offseason. On one hand, New York should lock up its best player since Patrick Ewing amid an unstable environment, with Porzingis set to play for the fourth coach of his career in 2018/19. Conversely, the Knicks plan to make use of their cap room in 2019, and extending the Latvian now would eat into that space — the team could simply let him hit restricted free agency and then negotiate or match any offer.
- Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson denied the franchise has contemplated tanking in order to secure more favorable draft positioning, Brian Lewis of the New York Post writes. Instead, Atkinson says the goal is to play as well as possible so Brooklyn becomes a desirable free agency destination. “We talk about internal improvement, we talk about player development, we talk about culture,” Atkinson said. “Tanking is not a word we use. It’s just not in our [vocabulary]. I don’t think the fans in New York want to see that.”
- Following an injury to rookie Zhaire Smith, the Sixers may be in the market for wing depth, and veteran sharpshooter Jamal Crawford could fit the bill. In a recent appearance on Brandon Robinson’s Scoop B Podcast, Crawford spoke glowingly of Philadelphia and what playing there would mean to him (via Amico Hoops). “I like their city. I like how into it they are about basketball. I like their knowledge of basketball, how passionate they are. I’ve always loved coach Brett Brown,” Crawford said.