Unless a trade opportunity suddenly emerges for the center, the Knicks will waive Noah before the regular-season roster needs to be set on Oct. 15, sources told the Daily News.
This is slightly more patient than it seemed the Knicks would be. A trade seems like a huge long shot, but it’s at least theoretically possible because he remains on the roster.
But this is still needlessly impatient, unless Noah is willing to take a substantial buyout.
Stretched without a buyout, Noah will count $18,530,000 against the cap this season then $6,431,667 each of the following three years. That money will be locked onto the cap, immovable.
With more information gained through time, maybe the Knicks would like to pay Noah’s entire $19,295,000 2019-20 salary that season. Maybe they’d like to attach sweeteners to trade him and get him off their books entirely. Maybe they’d like to stretch him, getting the same result they’ll apparently guarantee now.
Those options would all be on the table next summer, when New York could wait to see what free agents are willing to commit and how much cap room is necessary.
That’d cost a roster spot this season, and it’d make Noah unhappy. He clearly wants to move on.
But how valuable will the Knicks’ 15th man be? How much reputational value is there in appeasing Noah, who’s only in this position because New York heaped an absurd amount of money on him?
Even with waiting through the preseason, this still seems too hasty.