IFWT_Joakim Noah PSA

The New York Knicks did not secure a meeting with Kevin Durant and instead set their sights on big man Joakim Noah.

Free-agent center Joakim Noah and New York Knicks president Phil Jackson will meet after midnight on July 1, with the two sides intensely focused on working out an agreement, league sources told The Vertical.  There’s belief on both sides that they will quickly come to a deal.

In joining the Knicks, Noah would be returning to his hometown New York and once again teaming up with former Chicago Bulls teammate Derrick Rose.  Noah and Rose remain close, and have discussed at length a reunion in New York, sources said. Other teams are still vying to schedule a meeting with Noah according to sources.  He’ll also be joining Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis if the deal gets done.

Noah experienced multiple shoulder injuries last season and ultimately had season-ending surgery on his left shoulder in January.  He has also been dealing with nagging plantar fasciitis.  He has made progress during the offseason that is keeping him and others optimistic.

The Knicks have roughly $30 million to spend in free agency and hope to fit Noah into that space while keeping enough room to add a starting shooting guard. Courtney Lee and Eric Gordon are among the guards the Knicks have a level of interest in, sources say.

Noah, 31, appeared in 29 games last season, averaging 4.3 points, 8.8 rebounds, 3.8 assists and one block in 21.9 minutes a night.  He won the Defensive Player of the Year award in the 2013-14 season.

Deals can’t be signed until July 7.

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