Skip to main content

Knicks Trying to Shed Salary; Should New York Trade Nerlens Noel?

Noel is set to make over $9 million this year.

The New York Knicks will look to pull out all the stops during free agency this offseason, which begins Thursday at 6 p.m.

New York is actively trying to pave the way for a max salary player like Jalen Brunson to sign, having already traded Kemba Walker to the Detroit Pistons in a salary dump on draft night. But the team may not be done.

According to HoopsHype, the team could trade Nerlens Noel and his $9.24 million contract this offseason to a team in need of a backup center like the Los Angeles Clippers.

Noel has had an up-and-down tenure with the Knicks. After averaging 2.2 blocks in the 2020-21 season that ended in a New York playoff berth, he was handsomely rewarded with a three-year, $32 million deal last summer. However, Noel failed to live up to expectations in his second season in New York, where he played in just 25 games thanks to a foot injury.

Scroll to Continue

Read More

The Knicks' center is set to face some changes this offseason with Mitchell Robinson facing free agency and Noel possibly on his way out. New York currently also has 2021 rookie Jericho Sims on the roster, who played in 41 games last season. They're reportedly interested in keeping Robinson, but their top priority is adding a max-level player to the team. By trading Noel, the path to that outcome becomes a lot easier.

Other teams outside of the Clippers could be interested as well. The Knicks have a surplus of future draft capital that they can use as a sweetener in any potential trade. Rebuilding teams like the Houston Rockets, Orlando Magic, and San Antonio Spurs could find value in a deal if future assets also come their way.