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Report: Young Knicks were told not to go out with Joakim Noah

Joakim Noah Clippers

DENVER, CO - DECEMBER 10: Joakim Noah #55 of the Memphis Grizzlies plays the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center on December 10, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

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Former Knicks center Joakim Noah, now with the Grizzlies, said he’s “too lit to play in New York City.”

That apparently wasn’t a revelation to the Knicks.

Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News:

Noah’s partying was well known and young players, including fellow Frenchman Frank Ntilikina, were told not to go out with him, according to a source.

The Knicks showed what they thought of Noah. They kept him away last season and waived him this fall, eating the remaining $37,825,000 on his contract. Ousting Noah was probably best for the rebuilding team’s culture.

But I still think New York erred by waiving Noah now.

With his remaining salary stretched over five years, the Knicks lost the flexibility to pay him off completely over the next two years. They lost the flexibility to trade him and get his salary removed from their books entirely. He’s locked in at an unmovable $18,530,000 this season and $6,431,667 each of the following three years. New York can’t yet know which structure would have been optimal.

The Knicks could have kept Noah rostered until next offseason and explored keeping him away from the team, as they did last year. Maybe he would have taken a buyout, which could have made waiving him this year a sound decision.

But the Knicks just wanted him gone. This shows some of the reason why.