Connect Billy D. to another Florida player, but not Al Horford this time. According to ESPN’s Ian Bagley, the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Minnesota Timberwolves are the two who could stand out and be the favorites if Joakim Noah would accept a buyout from the New York Knicks.
Minnesota makes a ton of sense as former Chicago Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau and Noah have a longstanding relationship during their time in the Windy City.
Noah played under Thunder head coach Billy Donovan during his time as the head coach at the University of Florida. Noah won a national championship while there.
Assuming the Knicks don’t find a trade for Joakim Noah, opposing executives expect OKC and Minnesota to be among the teams interested in Noah if he’s waived or bought out by the Knicks, per sources. As of earlier this week, Noah remained opposed to a buyout, sources say.
— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) February 8, 2018
Drafted by the Bulls in 2007 in with the ninth overall pick, Noah was a stable in the vaunted Thib’s defense for years. He was an all-star for two of his nine seasons in Chicago but sour grapes saw him sign a stupid large contract with the Knicks last season.
Noah, 32, is set to make $17.7 million this season. He has $37.3 million remaining through the 2019-20 season.
Noah has only appeared in seven games this season, barely registering on the radar of productions. Last season for the Knicks, he averaged 5.0 points on 49 percent shooting and grabbed 8.8 rebounds per game. He appeared in 46 games.
This makes a little sense for the Thunder. Dakari Johnson isn’t the answer at back up center. They’re running Jerami Grant out there when Steven Adams gets into foul trouble. Oklahoma City desperately needs some bench help in the bigs department. It’s unknown what kind of shape or health he’s currently in.
Noah currently is not agreeing to a buy out. The Knicks announce in January, Noah won’t be joining the team for the foreseeable future after a confrontation with head coach Jeff Hornacek. If Noah was to agree to a buyout, the Thunder could swoop Noah up for approximately $815,686.We invite you to follow Thunder Digest on Twitter and like Thunder Digest on Facebook. Our Podcast is on iTunes. We also have a Thunder Digest Instagram account if you love fun Thunder photography!