The Knicks officially released center Joakim Noah on Saturday and officially rid themselves of their worst signing in NBA history in a stretch provision.
Sources indicated the delay was trying to get Noah to give up more money in a buyout since he can sign with another team for the veteran’s minimum. It’s been reported for weeks Noah would not be on the 15-man roster.
The Knicks had to release Noah by Monday to get down to the maximum 15 players. Noah, who had $38 million left on his contract, had been reluctant to give up much of the remaining two years of his pact — if any money at all.
The 33-year-old Noah wasn’t at training camp and hasn’t been with the team since late January after an altercation with Jeff Hornacek at a practice in Denver. Hornacek had pulled Noah during garbage time at Golden State after the former Bulls veteran center was promised he’d play that night because of injuries. Noah was exiled from the team.
Phil Jackson signed Noah to a four-year, $72 million contract in summer 2016, but his New York homecoming was marred by injuries, poor play and a drug suspension.
The Post reported exclusively in March the Knicks would wait until after Sept. 1 to do the stretch-provision waiver to maximize their 2019 cap savings. The stretch provision allows the Knicks to save about $12 million in cap space.
Noah could re-sign now with Minnesota, where his former coach, Tom Thibodeau, is in power, but nothing is imminent. In fact, Noah doesn’t appear to have an exact destination. Sources said the Wolves offered Noah a hefty contract in 2016 that he turned down to go back home. He was raised in Hells Kitchen.
Noah recently sent an Instagram wondering why the Knicks were delaying his release.