NEW YORK – New York Knickerbockers President Phil Jackson announced today that the team has signed center Joakim Noah and guards Brandon Jennings and Courtney Lee to contracts. Terms of the deals were not disclosed.
“Acquiring Derrick Rose through a trade and securing Joakim Noah through free agency has given us a great ability to choose players that complement the incumbents Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis,” Jackson said. “As an organization, we look towards our next challenge of blending the skills of this talented group.”
“As a coaching staff, we are all excited to fill out our roster with this caliber of player,” Head Coach Jeff Hornacek said. “We believe that the players we have will give us a good mix of versatility and flexibility on both sides of the ball. This will help us get to the level we want to achieve.”
After nine seasons in Chicago, Noah comes home to New York, bringing with him a highly decorated playing career, highlighted by winning the 2014 NBA Defensive Player of the Year award, while finishing fourth in the Most Valuable Player voting. At 6-11, 230-pounds, the center appeared in two consecutive NBA All-Star Games (2013, 2014), was named to the All-NBA First Team (2014) and three NBA All-Defensive Teams (2011-second, 2013-first, 2014-first) and garnered the 2015 J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award.In 572 career games, Noah has averaged 9.3 points, 9.4 rebounds and 1.40 blocks in the regular season, and has appeared in 60 NBA Playoff games to average 9.7 points, 11.0 rebounds and 1.77 blocks. He has recorded at least 250 assists in three consecutive seasons (2012-13 through 2014-15), becoming just the third center in the last 20 years to accomplish the feat (Vlade Divac, Hakeem Olajuwon). Noah has recorded seven career triple-doubles, including four during the 2013-14 season, joining the ranks of Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain and David Robinson as the only centers in league history with at least four point-rebound-assist triple-doubles in a single season.
Noah was originally selected by Chicago with the ninth overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft, following three seasons at the University of Florida where he was a member of two NCAA Championship teams. He played high school basketball at United Nations International School (Manhattan), Poly Prep Country Day School (Brooklyn) and Lawrenceville School (NJ). He was born in Manhattan to tennis star Yannick Noah and Cecilia Rodhe, Miss Sweden 1978.
Noah’s 2015-16 season was limited due to an injured left shoulder, appearing in just 29 games and averaging 4.3 points, 8.8 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1.00 block over 21.9 minutes.
Jennings, 6-1, 170-pounds, has averaged 15.5 points, 5.9 assists, 3.1 rebounds and 1.31 steals over 32.3 minutes in 460 career games over seven seasons with Milwaukee, Detroit and Orlando. The Compton, CA-native, was originally selected by the Bucks with the 10th overall selection in the 2009 NBA Draft, following one professional season in Italy (Lottomatica Roma), after finishing his high school career at Oak Hill Academy (VA). He appeared in 48 games last season for Detroit and Orlando, averaging 6.9 points and 3.5 assists over 18.1 minutes.
Jennings was named to the 2010 NBA All-Rookie First Team after winning four Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month awards and also took home three Eastern Conference Player of the Week awards. In 2009, the then-20-year-old scored 55 points on Nov. 14 against Golden State, becoming the youngest player in NBA history to score at least 50 in a game. He has appeared in 11 post-season games, averaging 16.7 points, 3.7 assists and 1.55 steals over 34.7 minutes.
Lee, 6-5, 200-pounds, has averaged 9.6 points, 2.6 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.02 steals over 27.3 minutes in 600 career games over eight seasons with Orlando, New Jersey, Houston, Boston, Memphis and Charlotte. He has appeared in 50 career playoff games, including a trip to the 2009 NBA Finals with the Magic.
Last season, the Indianapolis, IN-native, averaged 9.6 points, 2.6 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.08 steals over 79 games with the Grizzlies and Hornets. He was originally selected by Orlando with the 22nd overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft, following four seasons at Western Kentucky University.