Joakim Noah

Knicks Notes: Burke, Porzingis, Noah, Ntilikina

Trey Burke is poised to open the season as the Knicks‘ starting point guard, which means he’s in line to lock in a partial guarantee on his salary for 2018/19. According to Basketball Insiders’ salary data, Burke’s $1,795,015 salary for the coming season is mostly non-guaranteed, with only a modest $100K partial guarantee. However, as long as Burke remains on the roster through the club’s first game of the regular season, that guarantee increases to $400K.

It’s safe to say that Burke has secured that $400K. As for whether he guarantees the rest of his ’18/19 salary, that won’t happen until January 10. The Knicks like what they see from the former ninth overall pick though, so unless he has an awful start to the season, it’d be surprising to see Burke waived before the rest of his contract becomes guaranteed.

Here’s more on the Knicks:

  • It wasn’t surprising that Monday’s rookie scale extension deadline passed without a new deal in place for Kristaps Porzingis. After all, Porzingis continues to recover from an ACL tear and the Knicks can maximize their 2019 cap flexibility by waiting to re-sign him. However, GM Scott Perry‘s response when asked if Porzingis was fine with his contract situation was a little curious, according to Marc Berman of The New York Post. “That’s a question you’d have to ask him,” said Perry, who had previously stressed that both sides were on the same page.
  • Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News also notes (via Twitter) that Perry called the Knicks’ extra 2019 cap room a “byproduct” of not extending Porzingis, implying that it wasn’t the club’s primary reason for waiting on a deal. While this may simply be a case of Knicks reporters reading too much into a couple off-hand comments, Porzingis’ restricted free agency next summer will be interesting to monitor.
  • Perry said on Tuesday that he spent “a lot of time” trying to find a trade involving Joakim Noah before waiving him outright, tweets Ian Begley of ESPN.com. However, Perry was dead set against giving up any first-round picks, making a deal a long shot.
  • Head coach David Fizdale has high hopes for second-year guard Frank Ntilikina on the defensive end, as Howie Kussoy of The New York Post relays. “Frank’s going to guard everybody. You can already see where I’m going with him,” Fizdale said. “With Frank, I’m trying to develop a first-team all-defender.”

Wolves Rumors: Noah, Butler, Jones, Towns

The Knicks’ long-awaited roster move involving Joakim Noah finally happened on Saturday, resulting in a flurry of speculation about the Timberwolves‘ interest in the veteran center. However, league sources tell Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link) that Wolves head coach Tom Thibodeau has shown no interest in adding Noah to his roster.

Thibodeau hasn’t hesitated to stack his Minnesota squad with several of his former Bulls players, including Jimmy Butler, Derrick Rose, Taj Gibson, and Luol Deng, and reports earlier in the offseason indicated that he might be interest in Noah as well. Apparently that’s not the case though. For now, Thibodeau has his hands full with another one of those ex-Bulls, as he attempts to determine what to do with Butler.

Here’s more out of Minnesota:

  • Asked on Friday for the first time about Butler’s now-infamous performance in practice on Wednesday, Thibodeau downplayed its importance, according to Chris Hine of The Star Tribune. “It’s not uncommon when players scrimmage that there will be some talk,” Thibodeau said. “It was competitive.”
  • Thibodeau also offered this assessment on confrontations during practices and scrimmages, per Hine: “It’s OK to confront. That’s not an issue. The way you confront that’s important. But if you do confront, don’t beat down. The big thing is to lift people up. You make other people better.”
  • We haven’t heard much else on the Butler front since reports indicated he was likely to start the season with the Wolves and that the Heat weren’t making an effort to re-engage the Wolves in trade talks.
  • There have still been no rookie scale extension discussions between Tyus Jones and the Timberwolves, Jones confirmed on Friday (link via Hine). “I’d like to be here, but I know it’s a business,” said Jones, who will be eligible for restricted free agency in 2019 if he doesn’t get an extension. The deadline is Monday.
  • Karl-Anthony Towns expressed plenty of frustration following another bad preseason loss on Friday, calling the team’s recent showings “unacceptable.” Chris Herring of ESPN.com has the details and the quotes from Towns.
  • Darren Wolfson of 1500ESPN confirms (via Twitter) that Canyon Barry and William Lee received Exhibit 10 deals today and are expected to join the Iowa Wolves, Minnesota’s G League affiliate, after they’re waived.

Knicks Waive Joakim Noah, Allen, Coby

The Knicks have officially announced that they have waived center Joakim Noah, with both Adrian Wojnarowski and Ian Begley of ESPN reporting that the club will utilize the stretch provision on his contract after failing to reach a buyout agreement.

The team also officially announced the release of Kadeem Allen and Jeff Coby, thereby bringing its roster down to 17 players, including two two-way players, in time for the beginning of the regular season.

We wrote in extensive detail about Noah’s situation a few days back, with Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News reporting that the Knicks would likely waive Noah when they set their 15-man regular season roster if and when the team was unable to find a deal to trade the veteran big man.

As Bobby Marks of ESPN notes, the Knicks will incur an $18.5M cap hit this season for Noah, which could be reduced by $522,252 if the center signs a guaranteed minimum salary contract elsewhere. For the next 3 seasons (2019-20 to 2021-22), the Knicks will be charged $6.4M per season.

Allen, a 2017 second-round draft pick by Boston, spent his rookie season on a two-way contract with the Celtics, but was waived earlier this summer before he signed a one-year, non-guaranteed contract with the Knicks. He could end up with the Westchester Knicks, New York’s G League affiliate, if he’s not picked up on waivers by another team.

Coby, 24, and a member of the Haitian national team, played four seasons in the Ivy League at Columbia before heading overseas and then going undrafted last year before signing with the Knicks earlier this month. He’s also a good bet to end up in Westchester.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Knicks Still Expected To Cut Noah By Roster Deadline

It has been more than two weeks since we heard that a buyout agreement between Joakim Noah and the Knicks was close to being finalized, but Noah remains under contract with the club. Despite the delay, the veteran center is still expected to be waived before next week’s roster deadline, per Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News.

Sources tell Bondy that the Knicks have continued to shop Noah and are holding out hope that an injury or another factor helps create a trade market for him. If the Knicks can’t find a deal within the next week, then they’ll likely waive Noah when they set their 15-man regular season roster, says Bondy.

Considering the Knicks have been resistant to the idea of attaching valuable assets or prospects to Noah to accommodate a trade, the chances of the team finding a suitable deal within the next several days are extremely slim. As such, it’s probably safe to assume that Noah will be waived using the stretch provision, which would keep his current-year cap hit at $18.53MM but would stretch next season’s $19.3MM salary across three years.

By releasing Noah, the Knicks would clear a spot on their projected 15-man roster which could be used to retain Noah Vonleh. The former Blazers and Bulls power forward is on a non-guaranteed contract, but Bondy suggests that New York is interested in keeping him around to start the regular season.

If Noah is waived by the Knicks, he’d become an unrestricted free agent and would be free to join any other NBA team.

Atlantic Notes: Knox, Noah, Irving, Green

First-round pick Kevin Knox put on a show for Knicks fans at today’s scrimmage, writes Marc Berman of The New York Post. Knox has gotten past the tentativeness he had when camp opened, with Berman estimating he hit seven of 14 shots this afternoon and went three for six from 3-point range.

Coach David Fizdale has emphasized to Knox that he needs to be aggressive on offense.

“He did exactly what I want,’’ Fizdale said. “He’s a natural scorer. He’s unselfish to a fault at times, but today was indication what I’ve been prodding him to do every day. That ball hits your hands, you’re live.’’

The day wasn’t as promising for center Mitchell Robinson, a second-round pick whom the Knicks are hoping can provide bench help in the middle. Robinson looked overmatched against Enes Kanter, and Berman suggested he might start the season in the G League to get used to the pro game.

There’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Joakim Noah remains on the Knicks‘ roster as he continues to negotiate a buyout, Berman adds in the same story. Fizdale wouldn’t comment on the proceedings, but the amount of money Noah is willing to give back remains an issue. Berman adds that Noah expressed his frustration today when he posted, then quickly deleted, an Instagram message that read, “Let me go!!! What r u waiting for!!!! U don’t want me there so let me go!!!”
  • Kyrie Irving made headlines this week with comments indicating that he plans to stay in Boston beyond this season, but they were nothing new to Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge, relays Steve Bulpett of The Boston Herald. Irving, who is expected to opt out of his current deal next summer, has expressed similar sentiments to his boss before. “I’ve talked to Kyrie a lot,” Ainge said. “Maybe he’s changed his tune with you [media], but he has been very positive from the day he got here. I talk to Kyrie all the time, his representation. I think Kyrie is very happy here in Boston, always has been. That will hopefully make this a place he wants to stay much longer once the season ends.”
  • Danny Green may be an overlooked part of the Kawhi Leonard trade, but he brings valuable championship experience to a Raptors team that needs it, writes Michael Grange of Sportsnet.ca. Green, who won a title with the Spurs in 2014, has played in more than 100 playoff games and has shot better than 41% on 3-pointers in the postseason.

New York Notes: Hardaway, Noah, LeVert, Hornacek

Tim Hardaway Jr. started 54 of the 57 games he played last season, but he doesn’t mind having to fight for a starting position in camp, relays Marc Berman of The New York Post. New coach David Fizdale has declared an open competition for all five starting roles, which means there are no guarantees even for a player like Hardaway, who has the third-highest salary on the team at $17.325MM.

“Everybody has to compete,’’ Hardaway said. “No spots are given. Everything is earned. So you’ve got to go out there and play with heart, play with passion. He’s going to make the right decision, put the five guys that he wants on the floor to start the game and we go on from there.”

Hardaway Jr. has a much longer relationship with Fizdale than any of his Knicks teammates. Hardaay’s father played for the Heat when Fizdale entered the league as a video coordinator in 1997/98 and served as a scout for Miami while Fizdale was an assistant coach.

“I just remember him being this little kid running around Miami Arena,” Fizdale said. “Now how my life’s come full circle with him. Now I’m his coach. It’s just fun for me. Because we have that connection with our families. … I really want to see him make it, but his deal is the same as everybody else’s: Earn it.’’

There’s more this morning from New York:

  • Ongoing negotiations regarding a buyout for Joakim Noah are preventing the Knicks from making another roster move, Berman writes in a separate story. They want to sign former Columbia forward Jeff Coby for training camp, but already have 20 players and can’t make a move until the Noah situation is resolved.
  • The Nets aren’t considered serious suitors for Timberwolves forward Jimmy Butler anymore and are happy with the wing players they have on their roster, according to Brian Lewis of The New York PostCaris LeVert, DeMarre Carroll and Allen Crabbe should also see major minutes this season, along with Joe Harris, who re-signed over the summer. “First two days of training camp, he’s been fantastic, quite honestly. I’m going to call it like it is,” coach Kenny Atkinson said of LeVert.
  • Former Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek is helping the Nets in an unofficial role during training camp and may continue to advise the team at times during the season, Lewis writes in another piece. Hornacek, who was dismissed by New York after last season ended, is a friend of Atkinson’s.

Knicks, Joakim Noah Close To Buyout Agreement

2:17pm: The buyout between the Knicks and Noah is expected to be finalized either Monday or Tuesday, per Marc Berman of the New York Post.

9:12am: The Knicks are close to a waive and stretch agreement with veteran center Joakim Noah, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic. No matter when the agreement is finalized, Noah will not report to training camp.

Several teams may have interest in signing Noah, notes Charania, who adds that he has put in a lot of work over the offseason (Twitter link).

Noah’s reputation has suffered greatly during his two years in New York. He was a recent All-Star and was considered a team leader when former Knicks president Phil Jackson gave him a four-year, $72MM contract in 2016.

Noah performed poorly during his first year with the team, posting a 5.0/8.8/2.2 line in 46 games, then fell apart completely last season. He opened the year under suspension for using a banned substance, then clashed with ex-coach Jeff Hornacek over playing time, resulting in a suspension in January that he never returned from. Noah appeared in just seven games throughout the season.

Noah still has two seasons and $37.8MM left on his contract. He is owed $18.53MM this year and $19.295MM in 2019/20, although both numbers could be reduced in a buyout agreement. The main focus for the Knicks is maximizing cap room for next summer, when they hope to be able to offer a maximum salary in free agency.

Knicks Notes: Porzingis, Fizdale, Butler, Noah

During a meeting with the media today, Knicks GM Scott Perry declined to comment on his strategy for negotiating an extension with Kristaps Porzingis , tweets Ian Begley of ESPN. Porzingis is eligible for a five-year, $157MM extension now, but New York could save about $10MM in cap space by waiting to get the deal done next summer. That money could prove to be important for a team that plans to be a major player in the 2019 free agent market.

Team president Steve Mills told the media that Porzingis knows he’s a cornerstone of the franchise, regardless of when extension talks are held, Begley notes. Porzingis, who suffered a torn ACL in February, is meeting with team doctors this week to discuss a realistic timetable for his return.

There’s more today out of New York:

  • Despite the injury to Porzingis and a lackluster summer of free agency, the Knicks plan to remain as competitive as possible this year, coach David Fizdale added (Twitter link). He said the first thing Perry and Mills told him in his interview is that they would never intentionally tank a season.
  • When asked about a possible trade for Jimmy Butler, Mills reiterated his commitment to not skipping steps in the development process (Twitter link). That means the Knicks aren’t likely to pull the trigger on a big deal now when they have the cap room to offer a max contract next summer. Butler included the Knicks on the list of preferred locations he gave to the Timberwolves.
  • Perry said the front office is hoping to reach a “resolution” soon with veteran center Joakim Noah, tweets Marc Berman of The New York Post. The team is talking to Noah’s representatives in hopes of working out a deal to part ways. The Knicks reportedly plan to use the stretch provision on the final year of Noah’s contract if trade or buyout talks prove unsuccessful.

Knicks Likely To Part With Joakim Noah Before Camp

The Knicks plan to resolve the Joakim Noah situation before training camp begins, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic. The team continues to make calls in an effort to find a trading partner and is expected to waive and stretch the veteran center’s contract if a deal can’t be worked out.

Noah has two seasons and $37.8MM remaining on the four-year, $72MM agreement he signed in 2016. With this year’s salary already locked in, New York can stretch the remaining $19.295MM over three years. That would amount to payments of about $6.4MM per year and would add an additional $12.9MM in cap space for next summer, when the Knicks are hoping to make a splash in free agency.

It’s also possible that Noah might accept a partial buyout on this season’s salary of $18.53MM to gain his freedom from a team that no longer want him, just as Luol Deng did with the Lakers.

Noah appeared in just seven games last season because of a combination of suspensions, injuries and coach’s decisions. He left the team in January after a heated confrontation with former coach Jeff Hornacek in practice and never returned.

It’s not clear where Noah’s next destination might be, whether he gets traded or waived. The Timberwolves, who have added four former Bulls under coach/executive Tom Thibodeau, were thought to be a possibility, but a report this week claims they aren’t interested.

Wolves Reportedly Not Interested In Joakim Noah

Even though they’ve assembled a collection of former Bulls, the Timberwolves don’t plan to pursue Joakim Noah if he becomes a free agent, tweets Marc Stein of The New York Times.

Minnesota signed ex-Laker Luol Deng this week, adding him to Jimmy Butler, Derrick Rose and Taj Gibson as players who were with Chicago under current Wolves coach/executive Tom Thibodeau.

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.