Joakim Noah, who is 31 and played in just 29 games last season, has reached a four-year deal with the Knicks worth in excess of $70 million – which, based on Timofey Mozgov’s deal, looks like a bargain.
Mozgov, who turns 30 on July 16, agreed to a four-year, $64-million contract with the Lakers.
“The Mozgov contract last night certainly set the bar, especially from the center position,” The Vertical’s Bobby Marks said on CBS Sports Radio’s Tiki and Tierney. “Then we saw Noah right after that. I’ve said all along we’ve got to look at guys from a percentage standpoint. I was just shocked with (Noah’s contract) as far as the length in years. I was more comfortable if it was going to be a two-year deal at $17-, $18 million (per year). But I’m concerned when it’s four years. We’re going to see possibly a new CBA next year. The cap isn’t always going to rise. Eventually it’s going to flatten here. I know it’s going to go to $107 (million) next year, but there’s a good chance it could drop after that.
“The issue with the possible new CBA is we really don’t know where the rookie scale and where the minimum is going to go,” Marks continued. “We could see a really big hike there. So it looks fine right now for two years, but when you get into years three and four, you really have to do a good job of balancing your books.”
Looking big picture, the Knicks have added Noah and Derrick Rose to the mix to join Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis, among others. While some see New York as suddenly one of the top teams int he East, Marks won’t go that far. In fact, he looks at this roster and sees a 7- or 8-seed, at best.
“I think we need to see what they do with their bench,” Marks said. “That’s going to be important as far as where you fill out your pieces. With this group right now – and I know it looks good on paper – but you better have a safety net based on where some of these players have been from an injury standpoint outside of Porzingis. Rose, possibly (Eric) Gordon, Melo, now you add Noah – who is that next line of reinforcements from your bench? That’ going to be the key with what New York does when the dust settles.”
The Knicks have missed the playoffs in 11 of the last 15 years, including three straight.