Joakim Noah is currently the odd man out in the New York Knicks. Despite returning from a 20-game suspension, the former Defensive Player of the Year sees limited playing time and is not considered as a permanent part of the Knicks' rotation. Will the Knicks finally get rid of Noah and his expensive contract?
Since the offseason, rumors continue to circulate that the Knicks want to move Joakim Noah. Unfortunately, the remaining years of his contract made it hard for the Knicks to find a trade partner. According to Yaron Weitzman of Bleacher Report, an Eastern Conference front office staffer described Noah's contract as the "worst contract in the NBA."
Aside from suffering multiple injuries in the past, there is no doubt that Noah is already on the downside of his career. According to Stefan Bondy of New York Daily News, the 32-year-old center is aware of his deteriorating performance and admitted that he can no longer bring back his All-Star form. However, Noah believes he can still be useful for the Knicks.
"Probably not," Noah said.
"I can help. I feel like I could help this team and that's just my reality. But I just want to, you know, just be the best that I can be. It's not about trying to be what I was three, four years ago because it's not the reality."
With the emergence of Enes Kanter, it's crystal clear that the Knicks no longer need Joakim Noah. Most people think trading Noah and his lucrative contract is a punch to the moon. However, there are some who believes it's possible.
Though it's undeniably a longshot, a Western Conference executive told Bleacher Report that there might be teams who are interested in acquiring Joakim Noah. These are teams who are in dire need of a veteran leadership and locker room presence. One of the teams the West exec mentioned is the Denver Nuggets, suggesting they could swap disgruntled power forward Kenneth Faried.
Like Noah, Faried is also the odd man out in Denver. The arrival of Paul Millsap forced him to accept a bench role and limited playing time. At some point, trading Noah for Faried makes sense for both the Knicks and the Nuggets. The proposed deal also works on the ESPN's NBA Trade Machine.
With the Knicks still in the middle of the rebuilding process, Kenneth Faried will have the opportunity to prove himself once again in the league. Faried may not be a good floor-spacer, but he provides dominant presence under the basket. Meanwhile, the Nuggets will benefit from Noah's experience, especially in the playoffs. Noah can play alongside Millsap or serve as the primary backup center for Nikola Jokic.
However, in order to turn this trade into a reality, future draft picks and other young assets could be involved in the deal. Failing to move Joakim Noah will force the Knicks to consider a contract buyout and let him join other teams as a free agent.