Freedom Cry: Noah Wants New York to Let Him Go
On Friday, Joakim Noah wrote and deleted a post on Instagram urging the New York Knicks to release him. This comes after Noah’s long hiatus from the team during the regular season. There was confusion throughout the summer on whether or not Noah would make it to training camp. Reports surfaced that he intended on staying in the Big Apple. While Coach David Fizdale agreed with that, the front office is going in another direction. With frustration at an all time high between Noah and the organization, he is literally begging for his independence.
Revisiting the Noah Issue
The problem with waiving Noah is that New York would not be free of their financial obligation. The Knicks still owe him close to $40 million. While the Knicks can use the stretch provision of his contract to extend full payment, the team would still want to get something rather than nothing. Paying a player not to play seems counter productive. A trade may seem like a more sound route, but even that may be an uphill battle.
When the Knicks got Noah, he had already suffered his share of injuries. The hope was that he could revamp his career playing in the Garden. However,Noah found himself receiving a decrease in play and an increase in injuries. He even did a stint with the Westchester Knicks, before ultimately separating himself from the team. An injury prone center with a damaged reputation is hard to shop around. However, there is still one outlier: Tom Thibodeau, head coach and president of the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Timber-Bulls to the Rescue
Tom Thibodeau has spent the summer hunting for his former players from his days as the head coach of the Chicago Bulls. Moreover, his current star, Jimmy Butler, wants off the team. Rumors have gone in either direction on the issue of if the Timberwolves really want Joakim Noah. More than likely, the team would go after him if the Knicks waive him. However, The Knicks could still make a pitch to Minnesota, packaging Noah with other prospects. It has been reported, though, that the asking price for Butler has been too high. The Knicks may not be so inclined to trade away prospective players in the name of getting Butler and getting rid of Noah. New York would have to do a cost benefit analysis to determine if the ends really justify the means. So where does all this leave the begrudged center?
Still at a Standstill
Joakim Noah will likely be in a perpetual state of frustration until the Knicks decide what to do. He is a competitor, after all, and more than likely wants to return to the game. However, the Knicks are in no rush to make anymore bad decisions. The organization is more than likely seeking value at this point and don’t want to be stuck in a bad situation. Simultaneously, the Knicks don’t want Noah sticking around anymore, so they have to weigh their options. In the meantime, Noah will just have to wait for the team to make a decision.
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