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  • [UPDATES] Knicks, Noah on Track for Breakup After Heated Exchange with Hornacek

[UPDATES] Knicks, Noah on Track for Breakup After Heated Exchange with Hornacek

Photo: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
The $72 million man’s days as a New York Knick appear to be numbered according to various reports.

Joakim Noah’s tenure as a Knick has been defined by doubt, disappointment, and a glaring lack of contribution. The marriage that was consummated by Phil Jackson during his time in New York was ridiculed from the time that pen hit paper, and those feelings were validated almost immediately. It was an agreement doomed from the start.

The venture may be coming to an end, per Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:

We knew that Noah wasn’t on the best of terms with the Knicks recently, as evidenced by his disgust with the team following the loss in Denver. After the game, Noah “left the Mile High City in a huff,” frustrated with head coach Jeff Hornacek. A lack of playing time has bristled the branches of Noah, and while he seems to be understanding of his role as a veteran leader, it would seem fair to deduce that his frustrations are a byproduct of him believing that he can still help the team while not being afforded a chance to do so. The alliance between the Knicks and Noah appears to be fraying more and more by the second. As such, the Knicks are looking for ways to send Noah packing.

Saying that he should not be a Knick is easy, but there are no obvious, beneficial avenues to parting with Noah. Buying him out would provide no cap relief. There will talks of using the stretch provision to scratch his name from the roster for good, but that would lead to the Knicks having dead money on their cap sheet for a few years after Noah’s original contract would have expired. The Knicks could look to trade Noah, but his salary makes this a painstakingly difficult process as well. One name that will undoubtedly come up is Luol Deng’s, who is rotting on the Lakers bench and has nearly the exact same contract, in term and value, as Noah. In a separate deal, if the Knicks were able to find a partner to take on Noah’s deal while acquiring a contract with less years, they would have to attach a first-round pick to sweeten the pot. Scott Perry and company have their work cut out for them here.

There aren’t any great options, but that’s what happens when you make an ill-advised investment. Cutting your losses is painful, but in this case, there doesn’t seem to be anything left to build on.

Joakim Noah clearly believes that he can still play and give a team good minutes on the court. That opportunity will never come in New York, so the relationship is hurling quickly toward an unceremonious end.

This story will be updated as new information is released.

UPDATE 1:10 p.m. EST.

ESPN’s Ian Begley and Adrian Wojnarowski issue conflicting reports to Yahoo Sports’ Shams Charania:

Matt Spendley

Associate Editor at The Knicks Wall. Also Giants, Rangers, Yankees. Once caught a pass from Eli Manning.

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