Prior to the 2016-17 NBA season, the New York Knicks and Joakim Noah agreed to a four-year/$72,590,000 contract.
After sixty games, Noah is likely to be shut down for the season due to surgery on his knee. Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports was one of the first to report the details, which must have caused mixed reactions among Knicks fans.
Knicks' center Joakim Noah is likely to undergo arthroscopic knee surgery and miss rest of season, league sources tell @TheVertical.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojVerticalNBA) February 27, 2017
This news hurt from a fiscal perspective, as the Knicks are missing out on a ton of money that was expected to pay off. The loss of Noah, along with the waiving of Brandon Jennings, now puts the Knicks in an uncertain situation for the remainder of the season. It appears they're looking to end the season in a bit of lineup experimentation.
Coach Jeff Hornacek appears hopeful that Noah can make a comeback at some point in the season, but if the Knicks keep trending in the direction they're headed, playoffs are a lost cause.
Jeff Hornacek says he hopes that Joakim Noah can return before the end of the season but it still sounds unlikely.— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) February 27, 2017
If Noah remains out, this makes room for guys like Willy Hernangomez and Kyle O'Quinn to play more minutes. The former has proven to be an interesting asset for the future, and he's had some quality games in place of Noah's absences.
Noah averaged five points, 8.8 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game in 22.1 minutes before news of this surgery came out. He also averaged a career-low 43.6 percent shooting from the free-throw line. He only played 46 games for the Knicks this season, 17 more games than he played last season.