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Should Joakim Noah Return

(Photo Credit: Barry Holmes) Noah practicing his free throws back on Christmas.

NY Knicks: One of the worst contracts ever created was given to Knicks center Joakim Noah; The Knicks signed Noah, who was a free agent to a 4 year $72 million contract during the summer of 2016. Many thought this signing was asinine due to the fact that he recently completed a rough stint with the Bulls, playing 96 games in the last two Chicago seasons and only averaged a total of 9.3 points per game over those two years. His Bulls career included a plethora of injuries and an array of subpar performances. After signing the most egregious contract of the summer, Noah started his 2016-17 NYK season where he played 46 games and averaged 5 PPG. He returned to the team in 2017-18 after completing a 20 game suspension for a positive drug test. He played 7 games and averaged 1.7 points. Noah’s 2017-18 season was cut short after a heated altercation transpired between him and then coach Jeff Hornacek earlier on this year, one that allegedly ended physically. Unable to work out their disagreements Noah was asked not return to the team in an effort to trade him.

Joakim Noah is just a shell of his old self; once a player with a strong defensive presence on the court, one who set tactical screens, and showed rebounding agility, he is now beyond those brilliant and early Chicago years. While the Knicks tried to do a late trade to anyone who would bite the bait, no one was foolish enough to entertain a trade involving an injury prone 33-year-old center with an albatross of a contract. So the Knicks embarked in a standoff; With Noah showing no signs of taking a buyout, and the Knicks stuck with almost 38 million dollars owed to Noah spanning over the next two seasons, where would they go from there?

Now that new team management has taken residence in the MSG arena, there may be a change of atmosphere that can bring resolution to this sticky situation. David Fizdale was officially brought on as the new head coach of the New York Knicks, and with new leadership may come new direction. Fizdale spoke on Noah’s situation; “(Joakim Noah) reached out to me and just congratulated me and like I said, I’m not putting a ceiling on anybody. Whoever is on our team in front of me is going to get my full attention and investment and he’s obviously given me fits from back in the day. I’ve got some Noah nightmares from when he was in Chicago, some of the wars. So, like I said, I’m not putting a cap on anybody.”

With the Knicks unable to complete a trade by the deadline, or a successful buyout, they are currently stuck with Noah whether they want to be or not. As the upcoming 2018-19 season approaches this story can only conclude in a few ways; the best ending would be for Noah to come back to the team and give as much production as he can. But with injuries that have plagued his career, how successful can he be going forward?

Marsha Green: PureSportsNY

 

 

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