Joakim Noah buyout: Warriors, Thunder, Timberwolves interested

By @saihoops on
Joakim Noah
Jan 2, 2018; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks center Joakim Noah (13) passes the ball in front of San Antonio Spurs guard Patty Mills (8) during the first half at Madison Square Garden. USA TODAY Sports / Adam Hunger

The Golden State Warriors, Oklahoma City Thunder and Minnesota Timberwolves have emerged as three potential landing spots for New York Knicks big man Joakim Noah, who is likely to be bought out of his contract. Noah, a 10-year NBA veteran, has played only seven games for the Knicks this season.

Noah has two years left on the four-year, US$72 million (AU$91 million) contract he signed with the Knicks in 2016. Since arriving in New York, Noah, a former Defensive Player of the Year winner, has played a grand total of 53 games dating back to last season when he played 46 games. The Knicks were reportedly on the verge of buying out Noah close to the Feb. 8 NBA Trade Deadline.

According to Frank Isola of The New York Daily News, three contending teams will make a strong push should the Knicks come to terms on a Joakim Noah buyout.

"According to league sources, several playoff-bound teams are closely monitoring Noah’s situation in New York and would push to sign him if Noah becomes a free agent. The Warriors, Timberwolves and Thunder are three such teams that believe Noah, who turns 33 on Sunday, could bolster their respective rosters for the postseason," Isola wrote in a report published Friday (Saturday AEDT). 

Noah could potentially reunite with Timberwolves coach Tom Thibodeau. The pair enjoyed a lot of success with the Chicago Bulls when Noah emerged as an elite rim protector and rebounder.

The Knicks have allowed Noah to walk away from the team since his altercation at a practice session with coach Jeff Hornacek. In January, Hornacek reportedly pushed Noah and the 7-footer pushed the Knicks coach back before the pair had to be separated by players and the coaching staff. Since the incident, Noah has remained away from the team and hasn't publicly addressed the spat.

"Noah remains in limbo following an altercation with Knicks head coach Jeff Hornacek last month in Denver. As the Daily News reported in January, the problem began one night earlier in Oakland when Noah played just five minutes, all in the fourth quarter, during a 123-112 loss to the Warriors," Isola's report adds.