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New York Knicks, Joakim Noah mutually agree on indefinite leave from team

From NBA Twitter and media reports

The New York Knicks and center Joakim Noah have agreed to not be around each other for the foreseeable future. The team announced Friday that the parties had reached their agreement and Noah, who has not been around the team since Jan. 25, will continue to do so for the time being.

Since missing that Jan. 25 game, Noah has missed the Knicks’ next four games as well. According to multiple reports, Noah has been away from the team since last Thursday because of a reported disagreement with Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek.’s Ian Bagley has more on what’s next for Noah and the Knicks:

The Knicks and Noah’s representation discussed his status on Wednesday and agreed that Noah would stay away from the team until the front office can exhaust any trade possibilities between now and the deadline, league sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Assuming the deadline passes without a deal for Noah, it is unclear how the Knicks and Noah will proceed together.

Finding a deal for Noah and the three years, $54 million left on his contract has already been a futile task for the Knicks, who, league sources told Wojnarowski, are unwilling to attach significant future draft assets or young Knicks players to incentivize a team to take on Noah.

Before the Knicks jettisoned him, Noah and Hornacek had to be separated during a recent West Coast practice session, league sources told Wojnarowski. “It was pretty bad,” one source with knowledge of the interaction told ESPN.

Noah had become vociferous toward Hornacek in the aftermath of a brief appearance in a game on Jan. 23, and engaged Hornacek in a verbal encounter in practice the next day.

Noah signed with the Knicks in the summer of 2016 hoping that he could make an impact on New York’s defense and front line. Since signing with New York, though, Noah has played in 53 games (starting 46 of them) and has lost time to various injuries. He had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee last February and shoulder surgery last April.

In March of 2017, he was suspended 20 games by the NBA for violating the league’s anti-drug policy. That suspension cost him the first 12 games of the 2017-18 season. Last season, Noah averaged five points and 8.8 rebounds per game in 26 minutes per game. This season, his averages are 1.7 ppg, 2 rpg in 5.7 mpg.