The Knicks' options as Joakim Noah fight becomes clearer

NBAE via Getty Images

Knicks big man Joakim Noah looks on during the preseason game against the Nets at Barclays Center on October 20, 2016.

According to Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports, the reason for Noah's departure was a heated confrontation with head coach Jeff Hornacek.

At the time of this report, the Knicks have played 50 games.

Noah has played in just seven games this season, a victim of both age and a center glut. The Knicks have cited "personal reasons" for Noah's absence, which is on-going. He missed New York's next two games - the loss to the Denver Nuggets on Thursday and the win over the Phoenix Suns on Friday. According to Charania, Noah believed he could be a contributor on a winning team.

The Knicks have talked to teams about trades involving Noah several times in the past few months - including in trade talks surrounding Porzingis last spring and summer - but they didn't find a team that was open to acquiring Noah. When Noah signed a 4-year, $72 million contract with the Knicks in the 2016 offseason, it not only confirmed that Phil Jackson never should've been hired, it left the rest of the basketball world laughing.

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"When you look at our team and the stage that we're at, it's tough on everybody to have four guys (at center) and what they've done", Hornacek said.

Marc Stein of the New York Times reported the two sides will talk later this week to discuss his return to the team.

Trading Noah, 32, would be the Knicks' first option, but his pact makes it hard.

Unfortunately for the Knicks, parting ways with Noah may not be so easy.

Basically, it's hard to see anyone who thinks Noah's contract was a good idea, and for a Knicks team that is trying to build around younger players and have an eye on the future, having him around is kind of unnecessary. Otherwise, they may be forced to cut Noah outright. His suspension overlapped into this season, costing him the first 12 games. If either O'Quinn or Kanter is traded, the coaching staff would likely give Hernangomez the opportunity to take the departing center's minutes, keeping Noah out of the regular rotation.

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