Runnin’ Free: Joakim Noah undresses in the Middle of Santa Monica Street
On Thursday afternoon, troubling and frankly strange reports surfaced regarding New York Knicks center, Joakim Noah. According to TMZ, the estranged big man got out of his car in Santa Monica and began to undress in the middle of the road. At this point in time, Noah has yet to release a statement on the incident. However, there is loose speculation that the debacle has something to do with the prospect of Noah getting waived by New York.
Unbuckled and at odds
It is no secret that Noah and the Knicks have not seen eye to eye. Earlier this year, the two parties agreed to a separation after disagreements in dynamics led to Noah getting dropped down to the G-League. Interestingly, though, Noah came out in July and announced that he “loved New York,” and wanted to stay there. The Knicks still owe Noah a significant amount of money that he will have to be paid whether he is waived or not. New head coach, David Fizdale, was rumored to start Noah instead of him letting collect dust at home for $40 million. Obviously, Noah’s episode was bizarre, and it is too early to tell how the front office may react. However, it is unlikely that the team will just forget this happened as they consider their next steps with Noah.
Can they fit?
Starting and playing Noah may not be completely off the table. With Kristaps Porzingis out, the Knicks will be shorthanded going into the 2018-2019 NBA season. Enes Kanter, who played center last season, would likely take over the power forward spot in such a scenario. Adding Noah to the starting lineup would give the Knicks much needed size and defensive prowess. When Porzingis returns the team could simply play Noah as a sixth man or keep him in the starting role, depending on how the season goes. In theory, Fizdale’s idea could work. However, Noah’s injury prone career, on top of this debacle, could prevent such a reality from coming true. The Knicks may in fact be more willing than ever to part ways with the formerly disgruntled big man.
There is still some time left before New York has to make anything concrete. The team clearly has more factors to consider now then they previously imagined. Additionally, it’s hard to stomach waiving a player and still owing him close to $40 million. The Knicks would likely want to at least get something more then roster space out of the deal. While New York deliberates, Noah should contact his agent immediately in hopes of explaining away this odd and perplexing behavior.
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