Honestly, your guess is as good as mine when it comes to what’s going to happen. I can see the Knicks deciding to keep him on the roster as a veteran presence. And I can also see them stretching his contract or trading him. I didn’t think trading him was possible because, who would take on that horrible contract. But after seeing the Atlanta Hawks actually take on Carmelo Anthony’s 28 million only to get rid of Dennis Schröder, who they wanted gone anyway, and only to get Justin Anderson along with a top-14 protected 2022 1st round pick from the Thunder. I guess it’s possible that if we get the right pieces into the trade and the right third team maybe we could make it happen, but I find that to be very, very unlikely. I’m still of the belief, and clearly in the minority on this, that Joakim can still help the team without playing a lot of minutes on the court. Yes, he’s clearly not the same defensive anchor he was with the Bulls but he can still teach our young players how to not back down and fight every possession on the defensive end. Along with that I having been reading that he’s working out 4 times a day, it really looks like he is determined to come back strong and prove all the doubters wrong, and I am rooting hard for him. I know he would be able to put the dog in Mitchell Robinson and teach him how to have a strong impact on both ends of the floor. But we could also just take the easy way out by waiving, stretching, and paying his contract off over “X” amount of years.
It’s really disappointing how this has all turned out in my opinion. I have never agreed with the structure of Noah’s contract, but I really want to believe in his desire to play/teach the game to his teammates. I may be a little biased because I love Noah’s game and watching him and Carlos Boozer bully people down in the paint was a joy to watch for me. Maybe I’m just naive for believing in this guy. But my thinking is that since we’re already 2 years deep into his contract we might as well make the best out of this situation while we can, instead of trading away assets just to clear cap space for next season. At this rate the Knicks already have the space to sign a big-time free agent, and it seems likely that we will get one of the many in this pool. Not to mention that the Knicks probably aren’t going to be that good, with Porzingis being out for a good portion of the season, we will have another lottery pick that’ll give us another solid young piece to work with.
Looking at how the roster is structured right now the Knicks have a total of 17 out of a maximum of 20 people under NBA contracts and the maximum 2 total two-way contracts. The front office has until the start of the regular season to trim the full roster down to 15. But there are a multitude of trades or releases that could happen going from trading Courtney lee, or Joakim Noah all the way to releasing recently signed Kadeem Allen or 2nd year guard Damyean Dotson. Many Knicks fans want no part of Noah being on the roster, but I just don’t think it would be smart to trade away assets just to remove his pay. We’ve got a good amount of cap space going into next season, solid young pieces, and the health of Kristaps Porzingis to look forward too. Regardless of what happens with Noah, the Knicks are on the right track to being back on the playoff scene.