New York Knicks – Hoops Rumors Legitimate NBA free agent and trade rumors. 2020-08-04T03:23:37Z WordPress Dana Gauruder <![CDATA[Thibodeau Has Front Office Allies]]> 2020-08-04T03:21:16Z 2020-08-04T00:43:57Z
  • Tom Thibodeau has allies in the Knicks front office and that could lead to a better outcome than he had with the Bulls and Timberwolves, Steve Popper of Newsday contends. Leon Rose, the team’s president, is his former agent and new executive VP William Wesley also has a long-time business relationship with him. “I think that’s part of the equation obviously, my relationship with them,” Thibodeau said. “I’ve known them for over two decades.”
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    Arthur Hill <![CDATA[New York Notes: Nets, Crawford, Thibodeau, Forbes List]]> 2020-08-02T22:08:04Z 2020-08-01T21:43:55Z The Nets were overmatched in their first reseeding game Friday against the Magic, and it’s a trend that will likely continue throughout their stay in Orlando, writes Mike Vaccaro of The New York Post. Brooklyn started out strong in the 128-118 loss, which dropped the team into eighth place in the East, but a lack of proven NBA talent was too much to overcome. The Nets are missing seven members of their regular roster.

    “We need to embrace that stuff a little bit,” coach Jacque Vaughn said. “We’ll have to be extremely gritty, put a body on someone every single possession. That gave us more than 40 opportunities to shoot 3s and when teams do that you have to make them pay.”

    There’s more on the New York teams:

    • Veteran guard Jamal Crawford was held out of Friday’s game and may not make his debut with the Nets tomorrow, tweets Brian Lewis of The New York Post. Crawford is listed as questionable for the contest with the Wizards because of conditioning issues. Brooklyn holds a six-game lead over Washington and can effectively clinch a playoff spot with a win.
    • Now that Tom Thibodeau is officially the new head coach of the Knicks, Jonathan Macri of Sports Illustrated looks at five of his former players who could potentially play for him in New York. He notes that when Thibodeau was hired in Minnesota, he brought in several of his ex-players from Chicago. In addition to Taj Gibson, who is already on New York’s roster and is waiting for the team to make a decision on his $9.5MM option for next season, Macri’s list includes D.J. Augustin, Zach LaVine, Jeff Teague and Dario Saric.
    • The Knicks are this year’s highest-valued NBA team on the annual list from Forbes. Despite seven straight losing seasons, the Knicks are third overall at $4.6 billion, trailing only the Dallas Cowboys and New York Yankees. The Lakers rank fourth at $4.4 billion and the Warriors are fifth at $4.3 billion.
    Mark Suleymanov <![CDATA[Tom Thibodeau Notes: Butler, G League, Knicks]]> 2020-08-01T16:16:04Z 2020-08-01T15:24:33Z The Knicks officially named Tom Thibodeau the new head coach earlier this week, ending a long search for the next person to hopefully propel New York back into title contention. Thibodeau, a former assistant coach with the Knicks, brings a winning pedigree, evidenced by his strong run as Bulls head coach.

    Now that the Knicks’ future is clearer, Thibodeau’s hiring has and will continue to draw analysis and reaction from around the league. Like every coach, Thibodeau has faced his share of criticism while at the head coaching helm with the Bulls and Timberwolves.

    Below you can check out some more news and reaction on New York appointing Thibodeau as the one to lead the Knicks into the future.

    • Heat All-Star Jimmy Butler, who developed from a bench player into the NBA’s elite, is among those most familiar with Thibodeau. Butler, coached by Thibodeau in Chicago and Minnesota, believes his former coach will help the Knicks. “He’s going to do great. He’s going to turn those young guys into some real players; some superstars, some All-Stars,” Butler said to ESPN’s Nick Friedell (Twitter link). “I know he’s been itching for this. I know he’s been preparing for it. When you talk about Thibs and the big stage, I think they go hand in hand.”
    • One policy change under Thibodeau that could change is how the Knicks utilize the G League, Marc Berman of the New York Post writes. During his introductory press conference, Thibodeau said the team would like to have players who are not getting sufficient minutes with the Knicks see more floor time in Westchester with the G League squad. Berman notes that giving underutilized players significant G League minutes was a contentious issue between the former vice president of player development/G-League operations Craig Robinson and GM Scott Perry.
    • In an earlier post this week, we relayed some other tidbits on Thibodeau’s hiring, particularly hinting at him being open to changing his coaching style to give ample rest.
    Dana Gauruder <![CDATA[Knicks Notes: Thibodeau, Pinckney, Zipfel, Payne]]> 2020-08-01T13:15:00Z 2020-08-01T00:47:16Z Tom Thibodeau was officially hired as the Knicks’ head coach on Thursday and calls it his “dream job,” according to Brian Mahoney of the Associated Press. Thibodeau was an assistant coach with New York under Jeff Van Gundy from 1996-2003.

    “I think I experienced it during the ’90s that there’s no better place to be than Madison Square Garden,” he said. “And so I love challenges, I love that city, I love the arena, I love the fans and I’m excited about the team.”

    We have more on the Knicks:

    • Thibodeau gained a reputation of riding his star players but he’s more open now to keeping them fresh, according to Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News. It’s easier to do that with so many teams employing load management strategies for their top players. “Those numbers (minutes) have gone down now. So you won’t be at that disadvantage where they have the best player out there and you don’t,” Thibodeau said. “Talking with sports scientists and athletic trainers, you’re always are monitoring that.”
    • Ed Pinckney, an assistant coach under Thibodeau with the Bulls and Timberwolves, is getting strong consideration to join the Knicks’ staff, Marc Berman of the New York Post reports. He would be the team’s “big man” coach if hired. Pat Zipfel could be hired as an advance scout or bench coach, Berman adds. Zipfel also worked for Thibodeau in his previous head coaching stints.
    • University of Kentucky assistant Kenny Payne is under consideration as a potential addition to the coaching staff, Ian Begley of SNY reports. There are also discussions within the organization to hire a significant number of player-development coaches, according to Begley.
    Luke Adams <![CDATA[New York Notes: Crawford, Vaughn, Thibodeau, Knicks]]> 2020-07-31T14:43:06Z 2020-07-31T14:43:06Z Veteran guard Jamal Crawford hasn’t made his debut with the Nets yet, but feels comfortable enough with his new team that he’d be on board with the idea of sticking around for next season if Brooklyn wants to bring him back, he tells Steve Selby of The New York Post.

    “That would be unbelievable for me ’cause (Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving) are two of my closest friends in the league, that I haven’t actually played with, but just have genuine friendship,” Crawford said. “I’m just trying to stay in the moment, be thankful for this opportunity.”

    Although Crawford is enthusiastic about his new NBA home, he’s not expected to play in the team’s first seeding game on Friday against Orlando, according to Brian Lewis of The New York Post. The 40-year-old still needs to get his conditioning up to game speed, per head coach Jacque Vaughn.

    • As Joe Vardon and Alex Schiffer of The Athletic and Brian Lewis of The New York Post write in a pair of stories, the Nets appear to be giving Jacque Vaughn every chance to claim the team’s full-time head coaching position. However, Vaughn’s summer audition for a job coaching Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving next season will have to be done without those two stars, resulting in an unusual evaluation period for Vaughn and the Nets.
    • Knicks GM Scott Perry said on Thursday that new head coach Tom Thibodeau will have the autonomy to fill out his own coaching staff, but Thibodeau confirmed that the team’s front office will have some input in those choices, as Marc Berman of The New York Post relays. “I’m confident that we’re going to sit down, I’m going to listen (to) the people that they have, I’m going to recommend some people that I know. Some of them are going to be on both lists,” Thibodeau said. “I’m real comfortable with that. I think we’re going to get a great staff and I’m looking forward to getting started with it.”
    • In a separate story for The New York Post, Berman notes that new Knicks president of basketball operations Leon Rose said on Thursday that there’s “no timeline” for the team to move out of its rebuild and focus on contending. “We are taking it one day at a time,” Rose said. “We felt Tom was that coach who can take us with development to becoming a perennial winner. That happens one step at a time.”
    Luke Adams <![CDATA[Knicks Notes: Woodson, Assistants, Thibodeau, Harkless]]> 2020-07-30T18:26:28Z 2020-07-30T18:26:28Z Former Knicks head coach Mike Woodson, who interviewed for the team’s top coaching position again this time around, is expected to rejoin the organization in some capacity, sources tell Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

    There were rumors during the Knicks’ coaching search that Woodson was a candidate to be hired as an assistant, so Charania’s report doesn’t come as a real surprise. Still, it’s worth noting that on a conference call with reporters on Thursday, Knicks GM Scott Perry said that Thibodeau will have the autonomy to build his own coaching staff, as Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News tweets. Perry added that the staff will be “diverse,” with a focus on player development.

    Based on reports to date, it sounds like the support for Woodson has come from within the Knicks organization. If he ends up joining the team’s coaching staff, that should be confirmation that Thibodeau wants him on board as well.

    Here’s more on the Knicks and their new head coach:

    • In addition to Woodson, Mike Miller, Rick Brunson, and Daisuke Yoshimoto are the names that Steve Popper of Newsday keeps hearing as possibilities for Thibodeau’s new coaching staff (Twitter link). Brunson and Yoshimoto both worked under Thibs in Minnesota.
    • Speaking to reporters today, Thibodeau cited three main reasons why he viewed the Knicks’ job as an attractive one, tweets Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic. Thibs praised the current roster, referring to it as “young and talented” with “room for growth”; he said he’s excited about the draft assets and cap flexibility the team has at its disposal; and he indicated that the presence of Leon Rose and William Wesley in the front office is also appealing.
    • Maurice Harkless, an unrestricted free agent this fall, isn’t sure whether or not he’ll be back with the Knicks in 2020/21, but he’s intrigued by the hiring of Thibodeau, calling him a “great coach,” writes Marc Berman of The New York Post. Harkless hasn’t played for Thibodeau before, but met him earlier in 2019/20 when the veteran coach visited the Clippers.
    Luke Adams <![CDATA[Knicks Officially Hire Tom Thibodeau As Head Coach]]> 2020-07-30T15:30:43Z 2020-07-30T15:05:31Z The Knicks have made it official, announcing today in a press release that Tom Thibodeau has been named the franchise’s new head coach. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski first reported on Saturday that the two sides were finalizing a five-year contract.

    “Tom Thibodeau is a proven winner who gets the most out of the players and teams that he has coached,” Knicks president of basketball operations Leon Rose said in a statement. “He will bring leadership, accountability, and a hard-working mentality to our organization. We are excited to bring him back to New York and look forward to collaborating with him and his staff toward a successful future.”

    An assistant coach with the Knicks from 1996-2004, Thibodeau also worked on coaching staffs in Minnesota, San Antonio, Philadelphia, Houston, and Boston before getting his first head coaching opportunity with the Bulls in 2010.

    In five seasons as Chicago’s head coach, Thibodeau led the team to a 255-139 (.647) record and five consecutive postseason appearances. The Bulls won four playoff series and earned a spot in the Eastern Finals during that stretch.

    Thibodeau later served as the head coach and head of basketball operations in Minnesota, leading the Timberwolves to their first postseason appearance in 14 years during the 2017/18 season. However, his time with the Wolves came to an abrupt end in ’18/19 following a messy divorce with star swingman Jimmy Butler.

    Thibodeau didn’t coach during the ’19/20 season, opting to take the year off to visit with a number of teams and await his next opportunity. He was cited as a potential target for the Nets and Rockets as well, but with those teams still active and not guaranteed to be seeking new head coaches this offseason, Thibodeau was increasingly linked to the Knicks, the only club that has conducted a full-fledged coaching search so far this year.

    Even as they interviewed 10 other candidates, the Knicks seemed focused on Thibodeau throughout their process. There was a time last week when it appeared as if talks between Thibodeau and the Knicks had hit a snag — Jason Kidd was said to be emerging as the new frontrunner, as veteran reporter Frank Isola confirmed in a recent radio appearance (8:35 mark). However, even then, Thibodeau was viewed as New York’s top choice, and was eventually able to reach an agreement with the club that reunites him with Rose, his former agent at CAA.

    The team that Thibodeau inherits is in flux. The Knicks have a number of veteran players on non-guaranteed contracts for next season after striking out in their quest for a superstar player last offseason. They’re expected to be one of a handful of teams with significant salary-cap space this offseason and also have some interesting young pieces under contract, including center Mitchell Robinson and last year’s lottery pick, RJ Barrett.

    “I’m grateful for the opportunity to return to this historic franchise as head coach and work alongside a talented front office that I have great trust in and respect for,” Thibodeau said in a statement. “I know what New York is like when the Knicks are successful and there is nothing comparable. I look forward to being a part of what we are building here and can’t wait to get to work.”

    The Knicks are counting on Thibodeau to develop those young players and instill a winning culture. New York was 21-45 this season and missed the playoffs for a sixth straight season.

    Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images. Dana Gauruder contributed to this story.

    Jovan Alford <![CDATA[Thibodeau-Rose Partnership Could Benefit Knicks]]> 2020-07-30T00:39:50Z 2020-07-30T00:39:18Z
  • Warriors assistant coach Ron Adams believes that the Knicks‘ success hinges on the long-standing relationship between new team president Leon Rose and soon-to-be head coach Tom Thibodeau, writes Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News. “I think it’s really important. It’s important for Tom,” Adams said. “For somebody starting out like Leon, I think it’s important for him to thoroughly know another person for a long period of time. And it can’t be anything but helpful for both parties.” Adams was on Thibodeau’s staff in Chicago for a few seasons and saw first-hand how successful things were when everybody was working on one accord. Thibodeau will have the tall task of trying to get the Knicks back to the playoffs.
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    Luke Adams <![CDATA[Time For Knicks To Address Roster After Choosing Thibodeau]]> 2020-07-27T16:01:26Z 2020-07-27T16:01:26Z
  • Now that the Knicks have made a decision on their new head coach, reaching a deal with Tom Thibodeau, it’s time for the team to start addressing its roster, writes Steve Popper of Newsday. As Popper observes, with eight veterans on track for potential free agency and no “can’t-miss” future star on the roster, the club has less talent to work with than either of Thibodeau’s previous squads.
  • Despite the underwhelming roster Thibodeau is inheriting, it looks as if the Knicks are more likely to try to compete for a playoff spot in 2020/21 than to tank, Marc Berman of The New York Post writes in a mailbag. Berman points out that if the franchise wanted an extended rebuild, it wouldn’t have hired Thibodeau over someone like Kenny Atkinson.
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    JD Shaw <![CDATA[Noah Praises Knicks' Decision To Hire Thibodeau]]> 2020-07-26T22:09:47Z 2020-07-26T20:29:41Z
  • Former Knicks center Joakim Noah believes Tom Thibodeau is a perfect hire for the organization, Zach Braziller of the New York Post writes. Noah, who was coached by Thibodeau in Chicago from 2010-15, praised his defensive tenacity and winning ways after the news broke. “Defense and practice habits,” Noah wrote in a comment on social media. “The Knicks are in good hands. All he cares about is hoop. Perfect fit.” Thibodeau is finalizing a five-year agreement with the organization, according to ESPN.
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    Arthur Hill <![CDATA[Knicks Notes: Thibodeau, Van Gundy, Miller, Woodson]]> 2020-07-28T21:26:43Z 2020-07-26T18:07:13Z Former Knicks coach Jeff Van Gundy believes the organization is making the right choice in Tom Thibodeau, writes Marc Berman of The New York Post. Thibodeau, who is close to finalizing a five-year agreement with the team, was brought to New York as an assistant by Van Gundy in 1996.

    “I’m extremely happy for Tom and equally happy for the Knicks as they hired an elite coach who will give everything he has to turn the Knicks around,” the ABC/ESPN broadcaster said.

    New York began its search June 4 and talked to 11 candidates. However, many were considered to be courtesy interviews as Thibodeau was reportedly a strong favorite all along. Berman points out that five of the candidates — Ime Udoka, Wes Hardy, Chris Fleming, Pat Delaney and Jamahl Mosley — have no experience as NBA head coaches.

    “Tom has always been their guy,” a source told Berman.

    There’s more news on the Knicks:

    • The Knicks first offered the job to Thibodeau on Thursday morning, Berman tweets. He responded with a counter offer later in the day, but they didn’t make significant progress toward an agreement until Saturday.
    • Thibodeau should have plenty of time to prepare for a proposed group workout next month involving the eight teams not in Orlando, Berman writes in a separate story. Knicks president Leon Rose supports the idea of the gathering so the young roster can learn the new coach’s system, but isn’t in favor of scrimmages with other teams.
    • Interim coach Mike Miller and former Knicks head coach Mike Woodson both have “strong internal support” to be part of Thibodeau’s staff, sources tell Ian Begley of Among those conducting the interviews along with Rose were executive vice president and senior advisor William “World Wide Wes” Wesley, general manager Scott Perry, and vice president of basketball and strategic planning Brock Aller.
    • The Knicks’ new management team has long supported Thibodeau, and the only real alternative would have been John Calipari if he had been willing to leave Kentucky, a source tells Steve Popper of Newsday.
    • Ed Pinckney, Andy Greer and Rick Brunson served as assistants to Thibodeau in both Chicago and Minnesota and should be considered candidates to join his staff in New York, notes Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic, who also hears that Miller may be retained to provide some continuity. Vorkunov speculates that the hiring of Thibodeau means the Knicks aren’t interested in a long rebuilding process.
    Dana Gauruder <![CDATA[Knicks To Hire Tom Thibodeau As Head Coach]]> 2020-07-26T21:46:00Z 2020-07-25T17:19:47Z The Knicks and Tom Thibodeau are finalizing a five-year contract to make him their head coach, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN tweets.

    Thibodeau has been considered the favorite to land the job for months. However, Lakers assistant Jason Kidd reportedly emerged as a frontrunner after negotiations with Thibodeau appeared to hit a snag. Those differences have obviously been ironed out.

    Thibodeau has strong ties to the new front office regime, as team president Leon Rose is his former agent. Thibodeau has a .589 winning percentage (352-246) as a head coach with the Bulls and Timberwolves, though his tenure with Minnesota ended midway through the 2018/19 season when the team was floundering below .500 at 19-21.

    The Knicks conducted an extensive search for the position. Ex-Nets coach Kenny Atkinson, interim Knicks coach Mike Miller, former NBA coaches Mike Brown and Mike Woodson, and a handful of current assistants from around the NBA were considered for the job. Thibodeau was interviewed twice, including a three-hour session in his second interview. Overall, Rose and his front office team met with 11 candidates.

    The team that Thibodeau inherits is in flux. The Knicks have a number of veteran players on non-guaranteed contracts for next season after striking out in their quest for a superstar player last offseason. They’re expected to be one of a handful of teams with significant salary-cap space this offseason and also have some interesting young pieces, including center Mitchell Robinson and last year’s lottery pick, RJ Barrett.

    The Knicks are counting on Thibodeau to develop those young players and instill a winning culture. New York was 21-45 this season and missed the playoffs for the sixth straight season.

    Thibodeau has long-standing ties to the organization as an assistant under Jeff Van Gundy from 1996-2004.

    Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

    Dana Gauruder <![CDATA[Jarrett Allen Endorses Atkinson For Coaching Job]]> 2020-07-26T21:27:03Z 2020-07-25T15:58:52Z
  • Kenny Atkinson isn’t considered the frontrunner for the Knicks coaching job, but Jarrett Allen gives the former Nets head man a ringing endorsement, Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News writes. “I came into the Nets and we weren’t making our mark in the NBA and you could see every year I was with him, and every year he coached us we kept getting better and better,” Allen said. “And the players under him kept developing and developing, and bringing us more confidence. So whatever team he goes to, they’re going to get a hell of a coach.”
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    Dana Gauruder <![CDATA[NBA Nears Agreement On Workouts For Teams Not In Orlando]]> 2020-07-26T21:21:27Z 2020-07-25T14:50:53Z The NBA is close to finalizing plans for the eight teams not in Orlando to hold practices and group workouts, Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer reports.

    Under the proposal, those teams would be allowed a week of practice at their home facilities, beginning the second week of August. They might also conduct two weeks of group workouts and scrimmages at two of those sites.

    The plan would have to be approved by the National Basketball Players Association but talks have progressed to point where an announcement could be made next week, according to Bonnell. If those teams do agree to the two-week workout and scrimmage sessions, they would be subject to the same safety protocols as the players at the Orlando campus.

    The teams not currently in Orlando are the Hornets, Pistons, Knicks, Bulls, Timberwolves, Hawks, Cavaliers and Warriors.

    Many of those teams have been pushing for some sort of organized activities, feeling they’re at a competitive disadvantage compared to the teams on the Orlando campus. However, the Knicks were reportedly reluctant to hold scrimmages against other clubs since they have numerous free agents on their roster.

    Currently, players on those teams are only allowed to work on individual skills development, Bonnell notes.

    Luke Adams <![CDATA[Draft Notes: Tilmon, M. Smith, Early Entrants]]> 2020-07-25T12:41:13Z 2020-07-24T22:00:29Z After Missouri guard Xavier Pinson announced earlier this week that he was pulling out of the 2020 NBA draft to return to school for another year, a pair of his teammates who had been testing the waters have followed suit.

    According to Mizzou Hoops (Twitter link), forwards Jeremiah Tilmon and Mitchell Smith are also returning to the Tigers for their senior seasons in 2020/21.

    Neither Tilmon nor Smith was a full-time starter at Missouri this past season. Tilmon averaged 8.2 PPG and 4.4 RPG in 17 games (19.9 MPG), while Smith recorded 5.1 PPG and 4.9 RPG in 30 games (21.9 MPG). They’ll each play one more season in college before becoming automatically draft-eligible in 2021.

    Here’s more on the draft:

    • NCAA prospects who are testing the draft waters have until August 3 to decide whether or not to withdraw. As Jeff Goodman of Stadium writes, many players still weighing their decisions would like more time, given the uncertainty surrounding the 2020/21 NCAA season and the lack of an NBA combine so far. “It would definitely help (to extend the withdrawal deadline),” Iowa’s Luka Garza said. “The last week has been very stressful mentally thinking about it all. I don’t know what to do.”
    • Bryan Kalbrosky of HoopsHype takes a closer look at Garza and several other prospects who are still testing the waters, examining whether or not it makes sense for them to stay in the draft.
    • The Athletic’s beat writers for the Knicks, Hawks, Warriors, Pistons, and Cavaliers conducted a mini-mock draft for the first five picks, based on a Tankathon simulation. The results were interesting, with Mike Vorkunov taking Anthony Edwards for New York at No. 1, Chris Kirschner selecting Deni Avdija for Atlanta at No. 2, and LaMelo Ball slipping to Detroit at No. 4.
    • Bryant guard Benson Lin has decided to forgo his remaining NCAA eligibility and play professionally in China next season, a source tells Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports (Twitter link). Lin could technically still enter this year’s draft, since the entry deadline has been pushed back. However, he can go pro without doing so, and Rothstein’s report doesn’t mention the draft.