NEW YORK: The New York Knicks waived centre Joakim Noah on Saturday, making his expected departure official two seasons after signing the Frenchman to a four-year, US$72 million (RM299 million) contract.
Noah, signed in July of 2016, played just 53 games for the Knicks, including seven last season.
The 33-year-old hadn’t been with the team since January 25, the day after he and head coach Jeff Hornaceck engaged in a heated exchange during a practice in Denver.
That was a low point in Noah’s tenure in New York that also featured injuries, sub-par play and a 20-game doping suspension handed down by the NBA in March of 2017.
US media reported the Knicks would use the “stretch provision” of the NBA collective bargaining agreement to spread payment of the remaining US$37.8 million (RM157 million) owed to Noah, thus improving their salary cap situation at the end of the upcoming campaign when they’ll be seeking to attract a top free agent.
Noah, the 2013-14 NBA Defensive Player of the year, will become an unrestricted free agent after clearing waivers next week.
He averaged 4.6 points and 7.9 rebounds with New York and even after the arrival of new coach David Fizdale in May, the team apparently had no interest in bringing Noah back.