Tom Thibodeau should have plenty of opportunities to return to the NBA next season, writes Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News. Thibodeau, who was fired by the Timberwolves in the middle of the 2018/19 season, is frequently mentioned among the candidates to take over the Knicks. However, the Nets and Rockets are two other teams that might be interested, Bondy notes, while the Pelicans, Bulls and Hawks may also be in the market for a new coach, along with the Spurs if Gregg Popovich retires.
Sources tell Bondy that Thibodeau is confident he will be a head coach somewhere next season and has been getting advice around the league on the best opportunity. Bondy argues that Thibodeau doesn’t deserve all the blame for all that went wrong in Minnesota, suggesting that he had a good relationship with Andrew Wiggins, but couldn’t find a way to motivate Karl-Anthony Towns.
Bondy adds that interim coach Mike Miller remains a candidate to get the job on a full-time basis as new team president Leon Rose is impressed with his performance since taking over, while Kentucky coach John Calipari shouldn’t be counted out because of his close ties to Rose.
There’s more Knicks news to pass along:
- The NBA shutdown has increased the chances that general manager Scott Perry will remain with the team, Bondy adds in the same column. The Knicks aren’t making personnel moves during the hiatus and are preparing for the draft with the current front office, which includes Gerald Madkins, Michael Arcieri and Harold Ellis, who all came to New York with Perry in 2017.
- Kenny Atkinson isn’t the best choice for the Knicks despite his previous ties to the organization, contends Marc Berman of The New York Post. The former Nets coach hails from Long Island and served as an assistant with the Knicks under Mike D’Antoni, but a source tells Berman that Atkinson’s management late in games is considered questionable and he wasn’t able to win the respect of Kyrie Irving in Brooklyn. Berman expects Rose to seek a more experienced coach with a better track record.
- Zach Braziller of The New York Post examines the divided opinions on North Carolina’s Cole Anthony, whom the Knicks may consider drafting, given their need for a point guard.