New York Knicks Actively Pursuing Joakim Noah
Will Joakim Noah Choose the New York Knicks When the Free Agency Period Begins?
The New York Knicks are desperate to return to playoff-contending form this season and made it known when they made a megatrade with the Chicago Bulls, bringing PG Derrick Rose into NYC. However, team officials have made it known that they are not done searching for pieces to the puzzle and are actively pursuing a couple big-name free agents.
First on that list is SF Kevin Durant, but his decision is super cloudy at this point — not to mention the fact that there are a lot of teams that would love to add the superstar. However, there is one player that the Knicks are trying very hard to land this offseason and it seems that they have the best chance at scoring him: Joakim Noah. A native to New York, Noah has expressed a high amount of interest in joining the Knicks and sources from multiple different teams say that they his eyes are set on the move.
There are a lot of factors that are playing into this pursuit. First off, the Knicks are in dire need of a center, especially after losing their starter, Robin Lopez, to the Chicago Bulls in the Rose trade. Since the Bulls are now set with Lopez and Gasol down low, they don’t really have a need for Noah — the Knicks do. Also, Noah has a strong relationship with Derrick Rose and absolutely loves playing as his big man. With Rose starting in New York, the familiar face would help the two shine again.
The only real downside to Noah is the fact that he is coming off a season that saw more injuries than he’s used to. He first went down with a left shoulder injury, which kept him out of play for an entire month. In January, he had to undergo season-ending surgery on a shoulder dislocation, using the offseason as valuable time to recover. As much as he loves Chicago, which is something he hasn’t been shy about expressing, it seems Noah is ready to take a big deal from a team looking to add a valuable big man down low.
In June, Noah commented on his plans this free agency:
“I’m very focused on free agency. I spent the last 10 years in Chicago. There were good moments and bad moments, but now I have an incredible opportunity for a player, being recruited by a team. I definitely want to live that kind of experience. It’s new for me, but it’s something very intriguing for a player.”
With nearly $30 million in cap space to spend this free agency period, the Knicks hope that Noah can be fit into that. If both sides can agree to terms, then the Knicks will be one piece away from being contenders for a playoff spot this season: a shooting guard.
Needless to say, if the Knicks grab Noah, then there’s a big chance that they stop their pursuit of Durant and instead, start searching for a shooting guard like Eric Gordon or Courtney Lee. As of right now, I’d say expect Joakim Noah playing alongside Derrick Rose next season in a New York Knicks’ jersey.