The New York Knicks are positioning themselves for free agency in 2019.
The New York Knicks followed up with their intentions to rid themselves of Joakim Noah's contract in some way. The Knicks will use the stretch provision clause to void the remaining year of his contract from their payroll. They will ultimately have to pay him his salary in full, but it won't count against the cap. Noah is thereby no longer a member of the Knicks' franchise and is free to sign elsewhere as soon as the motion is cleared.
The stretch provision essentially reduces Noah's reduces $19.3 million cap hit to a manageable $6.4 million until his contract runs out in the summer of 2021. Joakim Noah's disenchantment with basketball has been widely exaggerated because of a neo-hippie sensibility attached to his name and general outlook on life. Nonetheless, the New York Knicks are wise to plan ahead. Next offseason's free agent class is one of the strongest in recent memory, with names like Kevin Durant, Jimmy Butler, Kyrie Butler, and Kawhi Leonard all coming off the books.
New York would still be required to do a little "restructuring" if they are to afford a Max contract next offseason. The collective bargaining agreement signed by the player's association seems to indicate that Max contract will cost an NBA team $32.7 million annually, or $38.15 million for a player with over 10 seasons under their belt.