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Former All-NBA Superstar Likely To Be Waived

Joakim Noah posing in a New York Knicks hat.

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On July 8, 2016, Joakim Noah signed a four-year, $72 million deal with the Phil Jackson-led New York Knicks. That deal almost immediately became one of the worst in recent NBA history.

Noah was coming off of a season in which he played just 29 games for the Chicago Bulls. He averaged 4.3 points, 8.8 rebounds, and 3.8 assists when healthy. It was the second straight year in which he averaged fewer than double-digit points.

As a Knick, he averaged five points a game in 46 appearances in 2016-17. Last season, he played in just seven games, scoring 12 points and grabbing 14 rebounds.

Former Memphis Grizzlies head coach David Fizdale takes over the team this season. Noah doesn't figure into his plans.

The team has explored trade options, but with two years and $37.8 million left on his deal, he's basically unmovable.

Because of that untradeable contract, the Knicks are expected to "waive-and-stretch" Joakim Noah ahead of the season.

From ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski and Ian Begley:

Unless general manager Scott Perry can find a trade that includes Noah, the Knicks will use the NBA's waive-and-stretch provision to release Noah sometime after Sept. 1, league sources said.

[...]

Talks continued through the summer, but New York hasn't come close to finding a deal to unload Noah, league sources said. Using the stretch provision after August 31 reduces Noah's cap hit to $6.4 million, saving the team $12.9 million toward the salary cap. Stretching his contract after September 1 costs the Knicks $6.4 million in cap space in the summers of 2020 and 2021.

The $18.5 million salary for 2018-19 still counts toward the Knicks salary cap, although that number could be reduced if a buyout is agreed upon with Noah, or if New York doesn't waive the set-off in his contract.

Noah effectively left the team after a February blow-up with then-coach Jeff Hornacek. His usefulness as an NBA player expired before that...and likely before he signed that giant Knicks deal at all.

The two-time college national champion was one of the league's better forwards just a few years ago, though. In 2014, he was a first-team All-NBA player, and finished fourth in MVP voting, behind Kevin Durant, LeBron James, and Blake Griffin.

[ESPN]