“At some point I ran into him on the streets of New York City, just an accidental (meeting). He’s out, he’s an active guy. So he wanted me to do a pull-up on his arm to demonstrate that his shoulder’s in fine shape,” Jackson said.
Jackson declined to do the pull-up, but says the encounter with Noah -- which occurred at some time in the spring in New York -- convinced him that Noah was healthy. The center underwent surgery to repair a left shoulder dislocation in January and missed the remainder of the season.
Jackson's pull-up story, of course, could be a case of the Zen Master toying with the public.
If the story is true, it’s an amusing anecdote in the Noah-Knicks courtship that could also be viewed as improper contact between a potential free agent and NBA executive. That’s up to the Chicago Bulls, the teams who competed for Noah, and the NBA to determine, if they care enough to look into it.
Nonetheless, Jackson and the Knicks filled out their starting five this weekend, coming to terms with Noah and shooting guard Courtney Lee.
The Knicks now have seven players under contract and several more holes to fill. They are expected to sign 2015 second-round pick Willy Hernangomez, a 6-foot-10 forward/center from overseas. The club would also like to re-sign Lance Thomas and Langston Galloway. The Knicks extended a qualifying offer of $2.7 million to Galloway.
Derrick Williams' future with the Knicks is uncertain. Depending on the value of the first year of Noah and Lee’s contracts, the club could have about $5 million in available cap space. But it seems as if Williams will find more money from another club.
New York can exceed the salary cap to sign both Galloway and Thomas, as they have both players’ Early Bird rights. The club might also be in the market for a backup big and wing, along with another point guard. It should be noted that the team would also like to keep players from its Summer League team. Cleanthony Early is an obvious candidate.