NBA trade rumors often circulate around players who have “bad contracts,” or in other words, players who are vastly overpaid compared to the on-court production they’re offering. New York Knicks center Joakim Noah and Portland Trail Blazers small forward Evan Turner are two examples of players who have caused their current teams to suffer from buyer’s remorse.
Joakim Noah has had a rough go of it in New York, as he was benched for a few games earlier in the season for ineffective play, and according to the New York Post, head coach Jeff Hornacek may pull Noah from the starting lineup again if his performance doesn’t improve. Joakim Noah signed a four-year, $72 million deal with the Knicks this past summer, but they were expecting much more than he has given them so far this season.
Evan Turner is another high-priced free agent who hasn’t lived up to expectations. The Trail Blazers agreed to pay Turner $70 million over the next four years when they acquired him via free agency in July 2016. However, Evan Turner’s play has not been up to par and as a result, he is coming off the bench behind Moe Harkless. Turner’s struggle to produce in Portland, along with the Trail Blazers’ concerns about him going forward have been detailed by Sports Illustrated.
Fansided published a piece that makes a case that Joakim Noah would be an outstanding fit in Portland, citing Noah’s strength in the areas of passing, defense and rebounding. Bleacher Report reveals that Knicks team president Phil Jackson loves Evan Turner’s skill set, and tried to sign him when he was a free agent in 2016. Now, the thought is that New York may look to make a trade for Turner since they have long been interested in the six-foot-seven wing player.
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The latest NBA trade rumors are buzzing about a potential swap between the New York Knicks and Portland Trail Blazers. The scenario that is making the rounds in the rumor mill is a one-for-one deal that would send Joakim Noah to Portland, and in return, New York would acquire Evan Turner. The ESPN NBA Trade Machine confirms that this deal would be allowed by the NBA (their salaries are very close to one another), so would the Trail Blazers and the Knicks be interested in swapping these two underperforming veterans?
Evan Turner is a versatile player who can play multiple positions, but the New York Knicks don’t seem to have a pressing need at any of the spots he can play. Small forward Carmelo Anthony and point guard Derrick Rose are stars and shooting guard Courtney Lee is playing very well as a starter for the Knicks. Turner would have some value as a multi-position backup, but since he comes with a $70 million price tag, New York would need to have a bigger role available to spend that much money on a new player.
On the surface, this rumored proposal looks like a better fit for the Portland Trail Blazers. But, center Mason Plumlee has been a pleasant surprise thus far in 2016-17, so the need for a player like Joakim Noah doesn’t seem to be as great as it may have been at the beginning of the season. Noah would still be a useful piece for the Trail Blazers, though, and that is more than can be said of Evan Turner unless he picks up his level of contribution significantly.
Sometimes a change of scenery is all a player needs to turn a disappointing season (or even a career) into a successful one. That might be the solution to what ails Joakim Noah and/or Evan Turner, and Portland may be willing to take a chance on this deal that has come from the current batch of NBA trade rumors. On the other hand, the Knicks wouldn’t have a solid role for Evan Turner, but Joakim Noah will have an important role on the team if he can play up to his potential (and he has finally begun to show signs of life in recent games). Phil Jackson might like Turner as a player, but not enough to send Noah to the Trail Blazers.
[Featured Image by Mary Altaffer/AP Images]