NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The Knicks are reportedly itching to sever ties with Joakim Noah, whose 1½ seasons in New York have been nothing short of disastrous.
According to multiple reports, the center was sent home last week after getting into a heated verbal exchange with coach Jeff Hornacek over his lack of playing time.
The Knicks have ramped up efforts to trade Noah, but they’re also considering buying out his contract, Yahoo reported Monday. The team, however, has not yet approached Noah about a potential buyout, according to multiple reports.
Noah’s salary — he’s owed roughly $45 million through the 2019-20 season — is an obvious obstacle in trade talks. According to the New York Post, teams have said they would only take on Noah’s contract if the Knicks surrendered their 2018 first-round draft pick, an offer New York has balked at. After dropping 14 of their last 18 games, the Knicks could be in line to have a lottery pick.
The reported dispute with Hornacek came during practice Wednesday in Denver. A source told the Post that Noah was “pissed” about only playing 4½ minutes the night before in a loss to Golden State, a game that both Kristaps Porzingis and Kyle O’Quinn missed.
The Knicks are officially saying Noah, 32, is away because of “personal reasons.” It’s not clear when — or if — he will return to the team.
Noah has appeared in just seven games and has averaged just 5.7 minutes in those outings. A two-time All-Star and Defensive Player of the Year with the Chicago Bulls, Noah has been a colossal disappointment since signing a four-year, $72.6 million contract with the Knicks in June 2016.
Injuries and a suspension for using a banned supplement limited him to just 46 games last season, when he averaged 5.0 points and 8.8 rebounds. His suspension overlapped into this season, costing him the first 12 games. Noah now sits behind centers Enes Kanter, O’Quinn and Willy Hernangomez on the depth chart.