The Knicks are reportedly planning to use the stretch provision to unload Noah if they can’t work out a trade or buyout. With this year’s $18.53MM salary already locked in, New York can turn the $19.295MM it owes Noah for the 2019/20 season into three payments of roughly $6.4MM a year. That would open about $12.9MM in cap room for next summer when the Knicks hope to make a splash on the free agent market.
Noah has been a major disappointment since coming to New York on a four-year, $72MM contract in 2016. Suspensions, injuries and coaching decisions limited him to seven games last season, and he never rejoined the team after an altercation in practice with former coach Jeff Hornacek in January.
While a reunion with Thibodeau may seem like the logical next step for Noah, there’s no guarantee he would have more playing time in Minnesota than he did in New York. Karl-Anthony Towns is entrenched as the Wolves’ starting center with Gorgui Dieng in place as the backup.