1. New York Knicks end up paying Joakim Noah $1.36M per game
Phil Jackson was the head coach of the Chicago Bulls at their peak. His Michael Jordan-led teams captured all six of the franchise’s NBA championships in the 1990s. During his time in charge of the New York Knicks, Jackson tried to reassemble the next great iteration of the Bulls, bringing Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah to New York in the summer of 2016.
The pairing had enjoyed great success in Chicago during the early 2010s. Jackson brought the two to “The Big Apple” to play alongside Carmelo Anthony and budding forward Kristaps Porzingis to catapult the Knicks back into contention. Rose was acquired via trade, while Noah inked a four-year, $72 million contract.
Jackson’s plan didn’t pan out quite the way he’d hoped. New York finished Noah’s first season with a record of 31-51 — 12th in the Eastern Conference. The big man struggled in his 46 appearances during the 2016-17 season. He averaged just 5.0 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 0.2 blocks per game.
His season was cut short by knee surgery in February, followed by a 20-game suspension due to a violation of the NBA’s drug policy.
Noah missed even more time in the 2017-18 season as he worked his way back from another surgery. Once he finally made his way back into the lineup, he and head coach Jeff Hornacek got into a heated argument. From that point on, Noah never suited up in orange and blue again.
He was waived on Oct. 13, 2018, but the Knicks had to pay out the remainder of his contract. Noah was collecting a salary from New York all the way into 2022.