While he is not one of the highest regarded free agents of this class, Joakim Noah is the preferred choice for the Knicks brass at center. They appear to be ready to go all-in for Noah and are reportedly willing to pay him as much as eighteen million dollars a year. Rumors started earlier in the week when Noah was spotted having dinner with Derrick Rose and then clubbing it up later that night. Another factor that plays into his decision is that he is a native New Yorker and would love to play for his hometown. A close connection with Derrick Rose and Carmelo Anthony make the Knicks all the more likely to land him and they certainly have the money to dish out if need be.
Noah is coming off his worst season, most of it due to significant injuries that kept him out of action for close to two thirds of a season. Many will say that paying him that amount is insane, but if you look at his overall career, it was never about the numbers for Noah. First and foremost, this guy is a leader in the locker room and if there was a player you would want Kristaps to be mentored by Noah would be at the top of the list. He is only three years removed from being the defensive player of the year. He brings a certain swagger to the table every time he steps out on the court and will make the Knicks a more defensive oriented squad. Another factor is that Noah is a big man who can handle the ball rather well and is known to be a great passer with good vision. That bodes well for Phil and his ever so evolving triangle offense.
As it stands, it may not be the flashy guy everyone wants, but Noah to the Knicks makes all kinds of sense. Do I believe that he should be paid 18 million a year? Hell fucking no I don’t, but if you can get him for a little cheaper and then use that extra money to invest in an above average shooting guard then the Knicks starting 5 doesn’t look too bad. The chances of all that happening are slim to none, but a fan can dream. It will be interesting to see how it all plays out, but expect to see Noah in a Knicks uniform on Opening day.