Joakim Noah, who has been linked to the Knicks since before the free-agency period began, posted a picture on his verified Instagram account of himself wearing a Knicks hat.
The photo, in black-and-white, has a caption that reads "Jah bless.”
The Knicks are discussing the framework of a four-year, $72-million deal with the 31-year-old Noah, a league source told Newsday’s Al Iannazzone. They were scheduled to meet with him Friday afternoon, according to the source, and try to finalize the contract. The meeting with Noah will be in Orlando, where Knicks officials are attending the summer league.
Coach Jeff Hornacek said getting a starting center is the Knicks’ priority in free agency, and it’s clear they’ve focused all their attention on Noah. The Knicks traded Robin Lopez last week in the deal that landed Derrick Rose and are looking for a defensive-minded player with some offensive skills.
“We don’t want the guy to be a one-dimensional guy where he just plays defense,” Hornacek said. “Then teams can key on some of our other guys. He’s got to have a little bit of ability to finish under the basket or move around or take mid-range shots. We want that ability. Players don’t like to be considered one-dimensional players. We don’t want that anyway.”
The free-agent negotiating period began at 12:01 a.m., but players can’t be signed and teams can’t announce anything until July 7.
With Al Iannazzone