The New York Knicks have successfully traded Carmelo Anthony to the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for Enes Kanter, Doug McDermott, and a 2018 second-round pick via the Chicago Bulls. With four centers on their roster, the latest NBA rumors suggest that the Knicks could trade Joakim Noah to address their frontcourt logjam and clear cap space.
After acquiring Enes Kanter, the Knicks now have too many big men on their team. Kanter will be joining centers Joakim Noah, Willy Hernangomez, and Kyle O’Quinn. According to Ian Begley of ESPN, it will not be surprising if the Knicks end up trading one of their centers this season. Hernangomez is definitely a part of the Knicks’ rebuilding plan, while O’Quinn has already proven many times that he deserves to stay. This leaves Kanter and Noah as the likely trade candidate.
As Begley noted, if the two big men stay with the Knicks for the next two seasons, they will be paying them $72 million. Spending that much on two old-school big men wouldn’t be a wise option for the Knicks. The big question is, who should the Knicks trade?
Enes Kanter would be an interesting frontcourt partner for Kristaps Porzingis, especially on the offensive end. In 72 games last season with the Oklahoma City Thunder, he averaged 14.3 points and 6.7 rebounds on 54.5 percent shooting from the field. Though Kanter is not very effective on the defensive end, Porzingis can protect the rim for the Knicks.
Meanwhile, Joakim Noah has been a huge disappointment since joining the Knicks last season. The former Defensive Player of the Year failed to live up to expectations and has been plagued by injuries. To make things worse, he’s currently serving a 20-game suspension for violating the NBA’s collectively bargaining drug policy.
As most people think, it will be best for the Knicks to move Joakim Noah to address their logjam at center and free salary cap space. However, it remains questionable if there will be interested teams who’re willing to take the remaining three years on his massive contract. If the Knicks are really serious about moving Noah, they must package young assets or future draft picks.
According to Howle Kussoy of the New York Post, Joakim Noah is expected to miss the first 11 games of the 2017-18 NBA season due to suspension. However, Knicks head coach Jeff Hornacek hinted that Noah could play in the preseason games. Hornacek is reportedly “shocked” with Noah’s performance in the training camp and hopes that he can redeem himself when he plays in November. If he manages to leave a good impression in his return, the Knicks could find an ideal trade partner before the February trade deadline.
[Featured Image by Michael Reaves/Getty Images]