Joakim Noah is a native New Yorker.Getty Images

Free agency officially begins in the NBA after the stroke of midnight Friday. Contracts can't be signed until July 7 but verbal agreements can be made at that point.

Here's a preview: The Knicks will probably sign Joakim Noah.

Sources told ESPN late Wednesday (reported by Mark Stein)that "the Knicks are his runaway preferred destination."

New York also gives him a chance to continue to play alongside his friend from Chicago Derrick Rose, acquired from the Bulls last week.


Will Noah complete a Big 3 in MSG? Can Noah be a compliment to New York's stretch 5 (and blossoming star) Kristaps Porzingis?

New York is moving on from their slim hopes at obtaining the services of Kevin Durant, who chose not to schedule a meeting with the Knicks this week. They have just about $30 million to spend, and inking Noah (who would theoretically replace the recently traded Robin Lopez) would give them some wiggle room to go after a shooting guard like Courtney Lee.

"I spent the last 10 years in Chicago," Noah said earlier this month. "There were good moments and bad moments, but now I have an incredible opportunity for a player, being recruited by a team. I definitely want to live that kind of experience. It's new for me, but it's something very intriguing for a player."

Noah is coming off of season-ending shoulder surgery but expects to be at full strength this fall.

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