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Reports: New York Knicks still plan to part ways with center Joakim Noah

As the New York Knicks look to build toward the future, it seems center Joakim Noah will not be a part of what happens next for the team.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Ian Bagley and Fred Kerber of the New York Post, the Knicks will look to waive and stretch the remainder of Noah’s contract if they cannot complete a trade for him or get him to agree to a buyout. Here’s more from Wojnarowski and Begley on Noah’s future with the team:

Noah, 33, has two years and $37.8 million left on his contract, and waiting until September to stretch it allows the Knicks to spread the balance of his remaining contract into smaller cap hits over the next three years.

After the hiring of David Fizdale in June, Knicks management didn’t rule out the possibility of Noah rejoining the organization for the 2018-19 season, but that scenario has gained no traction, league sources said.

Perry has been attempting to move Noah since prior to last February’s trade deadline, but he has been cautiously unwilling to include the necessary assets — a good young player, or a future first-round pick or picks — to make Noah’s contract palatable to another team.

Talks continued through the summer, but New York hasn’t come close to finding a deal to unload Noah, league sources said. Using the stretch provision after Aug. 31 reduces Noah’s cap hit to $6.4 million, saving the team $12.9 million toward the salary cap. Stretching his contract after Sept. 1 costs the Knicks $6.4 million in cap space in the summers of 2020 and 2021.

The $18.5 million salary for 2018-19 still counts toward the Knicks’ salary cap, although that number could be reduced if a buyout is agreed upon with Noah, or if New York doesn’t waive the set-off in his contract.

In early February, the Knicks announced that they and Noah had reached a mutual agreement for Noah to take an indefinite leave of absence from the team. At that point, Noah had not been around the team since Jan. 25.

Since missing that Jan. 25 game, Noah missed the Knicks’ next four games as well. According to multiple reports at the time, Noah was away from the team because of a reported disagreement with then-Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek. Hornacek was fired at season’s end and replaced by Fizdale.

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. In 2016-17, Noah averaged five points and 8.8 rebounds per game in 26 minutes per game. Last season, he averaged 1.7 points, 2 rebounds and 5.7 minutes per game in seven games.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.