Report: The New York Knicks make Joakim Noah their top free agent target

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After completing a blockbuster trade with the Chicago Bulls to acquire Derrick Rose, the New York Knicks are ready to look to the Windy City again for their next big move.

Due to trading center Robin Lopez to the Bulls as part of the Rose deal, the Knicks have a vacant center position they need to fill and have reportedly identified Joakim Noah as the man they want. 

Noah, who has spent his entire career in Chicago, will be a free agent on July 1 and has made it clear that he's open to a new challenge. 

According to Marc Berman of the New York Post, the Knicks will pursue the 31-year-old as soon as free agency begins, as well as a shooting guard. 

Berman's report states: "The Knicks are desperate for a starting center -- their top target is Joakim Noah -- and a starting shooting guard after the Derrick Rose blockbuster. They are also desperate to fill out a 15-man roster within the confines of the salary cap. They have just five players under contract."

The presence of his long-time teammate and friend D-Rose on the New York roster could give the franchise the advantage ahead of other interested teams in luring the big man to The Big Apple.

The point guard has already made it clear that he wants to be reunited with the center and he could be a factor in Noah's decision. 

A team comprising of Rose, Noah, Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis will give the Knicks the foundations to build a winning team again. 

The Bulls were without Noah for much of the campaign due to injury but, before he was eventually ruled out for the rest of the season with a shoulder problem in January, the two-time All-Star was relegated to the bench by new head coach Fred Hoiberg who favoured Nikola Mirotic. 

This could be one of the reasons why the All-NBA performer feels like it's the right time to seek pastures new.

When healthy, he is without question one of the best defenders in the league and was the last Defensive Player of the Year winner before Kawhi Leonard made the award his own over the last two years.

His impact on the floor for the Bulls when Tom Thibodeau was in charge was huge as he perfectly executed the defence that he preached. 

As well as his defensive capabilities, Noah is one of the best passing big men in the league and, though he's not the most gifted offensive player, he contributes on that end of the floor significantly as he's comfortable with the ball in his hands and can make plays for his teammates.

That skill will make him a good fit for the type of offence Phil Jackson is keen to see at Madison Square Garden and new coach Jeff Hornacek is likely to implement. 

New York Knicks
Atlantic Division
Eastern Conference
Joakim Noah
Chicago Bulls
Central Division
Derrick Rose
Derrick Rose

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