Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Noah Seems Destined to Join Knicks

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Noah Seems Destined to Join Knicks

Article excerpt

Last summer, the Knicks began the free-agency period by meeting with Greg Monroe, making a pitch to the Pistons' big man in hopes he would be the first major piece to join the rebuilding effort.

This time around, the Knicks are pursuing a player in Joakim Noah who wants them as much they want him.

Monroe spurned the Knicks, instead choosing to join the Milwaukee Bucks -- a move that hasn't worked out well for player or team. But the Knicks are expected to meet with Noah this afternoon and, according to reports from other cities, teams are getting the feeling the Bulls center has the Knicks as his clear first choice.

While Knicks president Phil Jackson said after making the deal for Bulls teammate Derrick Rose that he doesn't consider its effect on luring other free agents a part of his decision-making process, Noah certainly has taken notice.

He was spotted by reporters in New York City clubs with Rose when the point guard arrived from his workouts in Los Angeles for his introductory news conference last week.

Noah was the NBA's Defensive Player of the Year and a first-team All-NBA selection in 2013-14, but his numbers dropped drastically in 2014-15 and he followed that with an injury-riddled season last year before undergoing surgery to stabilize his left shoulder.

"You're looking at: 'Is this guy worth a certain amount of money? Has the guy been healthy? Can he give us 82 games? Can he give us 40 games?' " first-year coach Jeff Hornacek said at the Knicks' summer league practice in Orlando, Fla.

"That's all in the consideration weighing the options. You don't want guys who are big question marks."

Hornacek stated the obvious Thursday, although it seems out of step with the plan that Jackson promised to put in place, saying: "I don't think New York, Los Angeles, they're not markets that you are going, 'OK, you're going through a rebuilding process. You have the ability to spend the money. You have attractive cities to go to. …

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