Following a heated exchange between Joakim Noah and head coach Jeff Hornacek, the New York Knicks have told the veteran center to stay away through the trade deadline.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Noah will not be required to report to the team until the Feb. 8 deadline passes.
The Knicks have been working to trade the 32-year-old, but his contract is practically immovable without the franchise attaching extra assets. Noah is due $17.8 million this season and $37.8 million over the next two years — both of which are guaranteed, per Basketball Insiders.
As a result, New York’s best option for parting with Noah is releasing him using the stretch provision. Yes, his awful contract would remain on the books for five seasons, but an annual $7.5 million cap hit is a better option than nearly $20 million.
Noah has appeared in just seven games this season, averaging 5.7 minutes, 1.7 points and 2.0 rebounds.