Report: Knicks still planning to stretch Joakim Noah on Sept. 1
Does that clear the way for Noah playing for the Knicks again?
Noah is guaranteed $18,530,000 next season and $19,295,000 the following season. By waiting until Sept. 1, the Knicks would pay Noah’s entire 2018-19 salary that season (when they don’t project to have cap space, anyway) and then take $6,431,667 cap hits each of the following three seasons.
This route would be a favor to Noah, allowing him to find his next team before the season. He wants to play, and the 33-year-old doesn’t fit New York’s rebuild.
If the Knicks keep him, they could use his contract to facilitate a trade. That’s unlikely until 2019, when his expiring contract might prove useful. It’s no guarantee, but keeping him on the roster keeps that possibility open. If the Knicks want to stretch him to maximize 2019 cap space, they always could that summer. It’d be the same cap effect as stretching him this September. If they strike out in 2019 free agency, they might even decide to pay his full 2019-20 salary that season and avoid cap hits in 2020-21 and 2022.
Waiving and stretching Noah in September would close all those possibilities. His salary would be locked onto New York’s cap sheet, untradeable.