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Report: Knicks’ top free-agent target is Joakim Noah

Dallas Mavericks v Chicago Bulls

CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 15: Joakim Noah #13 of the Chicago Bulls moves against the Dallas Mavericks at the United Center on January 15, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. The Mavericks defeated the Bulls 83-77. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using the photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

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Since they included Robin Lopez in the Derrick Rose trade, the Knicks need a new starting center. Dwight Howard and Joakim Noah have been linked to them in free agency via various rumors, and the New York Post‘s Marc Berman reports that Noah is their top target.

The Knicks are desperate for a starting center — their top target is Joakim Noah — and a starting shooting guard after the Derrick Rose blockbuster. They are also desperate to fill out a 15-man roster within the confines of the salary cap. They have just five players under contract.

At his introductory press conference on Friday, Rose made it clear that he wants to play with Noah again. “I want him,” he said. “He knows that. His family knows that.” Rose and Noah are still close from their days in Chicago, which could play a part in the Knicks’ chances at landing him.

Whether Noah makes sense depends on the price. Despite his decline in production over the last two seasons, he’s still expected to land significant offers with the salary cap going up. The Knicks might have to pay as much as $20 million annually to get him, which would be a risk given his age and injury history.