With Kyle O’Quinn opting-out and Kristaps Porzingis expected to miss most of the season, the Knicks will be short on Bigs next year, especially if Enes Kanter somehow opts-out, too. The Knicks are also hesitant to sign anybody beyond a one-year deal in order to preserve cap space in 2019.
Enter Joakim Noah. While he was banished from the team last season and his contract still causes heart palpitations, he might be the perfect fit for a roster overflowing with youth and in need of veteran leadership and potential minutes at the 5.
The way I look at it: if the Knicks had never signed Noah, and he was available at the veteran minimum this summer, he would make for a good signing. Considering his issues from last season seem to be isolated to Jeff Hornacek, who is no longer with the team, and his contract is simply a sunk cost by now, it makes sense to keep Noah rather than trying to sign someone else to play a similar role. We already know that Frank Ntilikina looks up to him as a mentor. And it appears he is in good shape.
“I just worked out with Jo, actually a couple of days ago. Jo is doing great,” Corey Brewer, who won two national titles with Noah at the University of Florida, told Kevin Brockway of GatorSports.com at Brewer’s annual youth summer camp at Santa Fe College in Gainesville, Fla. “You know it was a tough situation for him in New York. I think he’s going to be better. He had a year just to prepare, get his mind right, get his body right. I think he’s going to surprise a lot of people when he comes back this year. He’s going to be a lot better.”