Multiple reports indicated that former Bulls center Joakim Noah will join Derrick Rose and sign with the New York Knicks.
Both the Washington Post and ESPN report that Noah is very likely to sign in New York, his hometown. ESPN's Marc Stein went so far as to say that other teams have already accepted that Noah is all but a done deal to sign with the Knicks.
Have heard the same lament from multiple interested teams tonight: They see New York as a big favorite to land Joakim Noah in free agency.— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) June 30, 2016
The phrasing tends to be the same from every team we ask with Joakim Noah interest: We don't have a chance because the Knicks are his choice— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) June 30, 2016
And according to Tim Bontemps from the Washington Post, Noah's deal with the Knicks will have "a starting salary somewhere in the $18 million per year range," a large but not insane number considering the league's salary cap explosion this summer.
The Vertical's Shams Charania added that Noah will meet with Phil Jackson and the Knicks when free agency begins Friday night.
Sources: Joakim Noah has set meeting with Knicks president Phil Jackson after midnight July 1. Significant traction on both sides.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 30, 2016
Noah would fill a void at center left by the Knicks' trade for Rose, which shipped center Robin Lopez back to Chicago. Noah averaged 4.3 points and 8.8 rebounds in 29 games last season before season-ending shoulder surgery in January. Noah spent the first nine seasons of his NBA career with the Bulls and was named Defensive Player of the Year just three short years ago.
But he fell out of grace with Bulls head coach Fred Hoiberg, who opted to bring Noah off the bench for the first time in his career. It was largely assumed that both Noah and Pau Gasol would not return to a Bulls team that missed the playoffs for the first time in eight seasons.
Teams can start negotiating with free agents on July 1, and can sign free agents beginning July 6.