Report: Knicks plan to trade or stretch Joakim Noah before training camp

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The Knicks reportedly planned to stretch Joakim Noah after Sept. 1 if they didn’t trade him. Waiting until September would allow them to eat his entire $18,530,000 this season.

Well, it’s a couple weeks into September, and Noah remains on New York’s roster.

What gives?

Shams Charania of The Athletic:

This is a very patient approach to a very impatient move.

The Knicks will almost certainly stretch Noah. It’s unlikely they’ll find a trade partner without attaching sweeteners that would make the deal no longer worth doing.

Once stretched, Noah will count $18,530,000 against the cap this season then $6,431,667 each of the following three years. The Knicks would lose the ability to use his contract in a trade later or even keep him if they strike out in 2019 free agency, which would preserve space for 2020 and 2021.

If they waited until landing a free agent next summer, the Knicks could still stretch Noah with the same effect then.

Unless he agrees to a buyout, letting Noah leave now would mostly be a favor to him. He’s not in New York’s plans, and he surely doesn’t want to sit on the bench for the next year or two while waiting for a longshot trade or just to get waived later.

So, he can wait another couple weeks, though unfortunately, it doesn’t appear as if he’ll land with the Timberwolves.