NBA rumors are swirling that the New York Knicks will target Joakim Noah in free agency to pair the big man with the newly-acquired Derrick Rose, multiple media outlets reported.
The rumors started anew as Derrick Rose spoke about the possibility during his introductory news conference Friday in New York, according to ESPN. The new Knicks guard spoke candidly, saying that he has talked with the free agent about joining him for another run in the Big Apple.
“Oh, I want him. He know that. I think his family know that. I think everybody know that. Even last night, I was talking to him about it, and it’s the same way. He’s in a position where he got injured twice last year. It was his contract year, and he got to figure out what he wants to do. So, I can’t get mad with what decision he will make soon or whenever he makes it, but he knows that I will want to play with him.”
Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah have played together for the Bulls since the 2008-2009 season when Chicago drafted the point guard as the No. 1 overall selection. The teammates have enjoyed some success together, reaching the 2011 Eastern Conference Finals before bowing out to the LeBron James-led Miami Heat.
Adding Joakim Noah can only help to encourage the New York Knicks megastar Carmelo Anthony further. ESPN reported that in the aftermath of the Derrick Rose trade, New York Knicks president Phil Jackson had already discussed Carmelo Anthony’s feelings on the newly-acquired talent as well as the direction for the team.
“We’ve talked about that a little bit. ‘Are we moving fast enough to accomplish goals that you have for yourself and your career?’ Melo and I have talked about that: whether we’re on the right time frame with him, is he disappointed or whatever? I think this is a positive move. He sees that as a positive move. I think that’s reinvigorating for him. I think it’s good.”
— NY Daily News Sports (@NYDNSports) June 26, 2016
Sporting News is reporting that the New York Knicks will have some competition in recruiting Joakim Noah. The Washington Wizards and Milwaukee Bucks both are in the market for a strong inside presence, something Joakim Noah would offer both teams. The article suggests that the Wizards could be willing to offer a max contract to the NBA veteran while the Milwaukee Bucks might
The fourth team in contention for Joakim Noah this summer is the Minnesota Timberwolves. By heading north, the big man would choose to reunite with his former coach Tom Thibodeau instead joining Derrick Rose on the New York Knicks squad this season.
Outside of reuniting with Derrick Rose, the New York Knicks offer Joakim Noah something few other teams are able to immediately provide — a starting job. To acquire Derrick Rose, New York sent their former starting center Robin Lopez to the Bulls and created a vacancy at the center position.
— NBC Sports (@NBCSports) June 26, 2016
Joakim Noah also has some ties to New York. The athlete was born in the state, and Joakim Noah was recruited to the University of Florida from Brooklyn’s Poly Prep. Sporting News suggested that because of his ties, Knicks fans would make Joakim “an automatic [Madison Square] Garden favorite with his relentless hustle and fiery demeanor.”
Joakim Noah is coming off season-ending shoulder surgery that limited his playing this time season. The 6-11 center played in only 29 games this season, averaging a career-worst 4.3 points while collecting 8.8 rebounds. His production dropped as Joakim Noah primarily came off the bench this year, earning only two starts during the 2015-2016 season.
What do you think about Derrick Rose pitching Joakim Noah on joining the New York Knicks for the 2016-2017 season? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.
[Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images]