Knicks Notes: Thibodeau, Draft, Point Guards, Robinson

Five coaching vacancies have been created since Tom Thibodeau agreed to terms with the Knicks on July 25, but he has no reason to regret his decision, writes Marc Berman of The New York Post. Thibodeau might have been a candidate to join the Nets, Sixers, Pacers, Rockets or Thunder, but a source tells Berman the coach is happy to be reunited with team president Leon Rose, his former agent with CAA.

“He took the job because he trusted Leon,’’ the source said.

Trust means Thibodeau will have input on important decisions such as the upcoming draft, where the Knicks own picks No. 8, 27 and 38. Thibodeau served as both coach and team president in Minnesota and is used to being involved in personnel moves.

“I think, as a head coach, the only thing you want is a voice,’’ Thibodeau told reporters Friday on a Zoom call. “I think a lot was made of a president’s title, but also, I had a GM and assistant GMs that did a lot of the day-to-day stuff that a normal general manager would do.”

There’s more from New York:

  • Finding a point guard will be the priority heading into the draft, but the Knicks are also taking a long look at Auburn’s Isaac Okoro, Berman adds in the same story. Okoro’s defensive skills could be a perfect fit for Thibodeau’s system.
  • Frank Ntilikina and Dennis Smith Jr. are both attending the Knicks’ mini-camp to show the new coaching staff what they can do, according to Steve Popper of Newsday. Neither of the former lottery picks has been able to seize control of the starting point guard job. “We’re three days in, so I’m getting to know both guys,” Thibodeau said Friday. “I like what they’ve done so far. They got to continue to work. There’s oftentimes ups and downs for young players. There’s a learning curve they have to go through. Some experiences will be better than others.”
  • Mitchell Robinson isn’t participating in the mini-camp, but he impressed Thibodeau during individual workouts last week, Popper writes in a separate story. Robinson pulled out of the team sessions at the last minute due to “personal reasons” that the Knicks say aren’t related to COVID-19. “He’s an incredible athlete, Thibodeau said. “But we don’t want to put a ceiling on him. We want to continue to work on all aspects of his game and develop. He spent some time here earlier in the summer and we’re hopeful that we can get him back in and get to work with him so he can build on those skills, but obviously he’s a very important part of this team.”
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20 thoughts on “Knicks Notes: Thibodeau, Draft, Point Guards, Robinson

  1. DeathbyDeathwest

    It’s a lot easier to give Robinson a break on skipping team camp if you’re planning on trading most the team before next season.

    If you’re keeping Robinson, Barrett, and Knox together, can they trade the rest of what they have for LaMelo Ball (or someone good) to add to that mix?

    • mlbnyyfan

      To get LeMelo Ball they will need to include Knox, Barret or Robinson plus so much more. Not sure Ball is worth it. I’ll take my chances with Halliburton or Hayes

    • LaMelo Ball is all hype. Trading anything to get him only for him to flame out like Lonzo would be a pure Knicks move.

      Why do people think LaMelo is going to be great? He has 12 games of experience against professional competition and he wasn’t particularly good.

  2. KnickerbockerAl

    Ball is a bust as a top pick. No one is trading for him. Lonzo is and will be a better pro. Must you believe everything you read. This guy is not even a true PG. He’s more a combo wing. His handle isn’t good enough for the PG position. Maybe it gets better. His thin and has not strength right now. He needs to grow into his body. He ain’t ready for grown men. That’s why he was erratic where he played. He is yrs away from making an impact. To me that’s a rotation player. To Knicks, we don’t have time to wait for a Maybe. There could be two trades before Knicks pick. Either way there will be someone descent there at 8. Halliburton would be the ideal pick. But I think he’ll be gone. Okoro looks like a strong possibility. I’m good with that. He’s ready to play now. Even though he is young. The writer talks about Thibs working with Smith n Nttilikina. NYK are bringing in plenty of development coaches. Knowing the youth is a strength. They need to take full advantage of. Even if it’s to trade them. Knicks are moving slow. It’s a good sign for me. This draft could tell a lot. Who they may sign FA. Or who they might trade, Randle. I don’t see a big trade till trade deadline. So it’s draft day coming.

  3. MikeWiz

    I almost hope Frank does get traded so he can actually reach his potential. Him and Payton could thrive with Thibbs, but they’ll probably end up trading them for 2 second round picks and a cheeseburger, while overpaying DSJ—who is basically Steve Francis after the cocaine. Idk why I even care anymore. It’s like the Knicks have me under some Stockholm syndrome fandom. Maybe they’ll get some shooters and start jacking 45 threes like the rest of the league, then I’ll officially be done with them and done with the NBA.

    • harden-westbrook-mvps

      Nothing wrong with shooting a lot of threes so long as you’re making a good percentage of them. Shooting 33% from 3-point range is basically the same as shooting 50% from inside the arc.

    • What potential does Frank have? He’s played plenty and been one of the worst, least-efficient players in the league. It’s his fourth season and he’s shown almost no improvement.

      DSJ is also pretty awful, too. If Thibs can get anything out of them, he’s a miracle worker.

  4. When you sign up to coach the Knicks, you have every reason to regret your decision.

  5. Reflect

    Thibs being involved in GM decisions about the roster and draft is a recipe for failure.

  6. Cleveland has two point guards from the last two drafts-Collin Sexton and Darius Garland. Sexton was a #8 in a deeper draft (2018). The Knicks could do worst drafting an unproven talent this year over young scorer. Maybe to balance salaries they could cut or include Frank Ntilikina in the deal.

    • I meant to mention the Knicks would give up their #8 for Sexton, a #8 from 2018.

      • GabeOfThrones

        Limited players with less team control. I’d much rather them take a flier on Hayes or Halliburton.

  7. KnickerbockerAl

    Knicks have had 4 coaches in 4 yrs Nttilikina has been there. NY is not for the meek. It already ate up Smith and looks like Knox is falling apart. Not easy to be young and talented in NYK. Frank plays soft. Probably has a lot to do with his age and being a Euro player. Most Euro players have NBA shock. Throw in NYC it can kill your confidence. I agree both still young. Probably would do better in smaller market. That’s why they brought in coaches and Thibs to fix that. Either these young guys are going to wake up. Cause Thibs ain’t going nowhere. It they will get shipped out. They have a yr to show up. They will build their value back up. Frank could benefit most here. Cause Thibs is a D coach. But he needs to get some cojones. Knicks could make a move or two by trade deadline. Knicks are drafting 3 high picks. So they will push for playing time too. If Knicks take Okoro, which is looking right. Means Knox could be on his way out. They probably draft a PG later or trade for one. Means Smith or Frank ornithology are gone. This is probably their last chance here. I believe both at worst are rotation players. But they had their shot here.

    • KnickerbockerAl

      Smith or Frank or both. …
      phone writes on his own lol. Gotta proof read. Can’t even see how you get that word.

  8. stevep-4

    Thibs has a good history as a guard whisperer. I suspect he might improve the results of the existing roster members, but with 3 picks at #8 they can just take the best player according to the scouts, then take role players at the later slots. Thibs will turn them into a defensive powerhouse, so the logical move would be to draft an athletic scorer at 8 and let nature take its course.

    NY fans will like Thibs, he doesn’t mince words and his post-games were must-watch events. He is a smart basketball mind who gets the most out of the roster he has. I suspect he has learned from his prior experience and may let an assistant handle the offensive strategy, as well as expand the size of his rotations.

    • x%sure

      I suspect he will use his smaller rotations for motivating players to step up or out.

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