Knicks Notes: Thibodeau, Brunson, Mitchell, L. Rose, Barrett

Knicks president Leon Rose expressed his support for head coach Tom Thibodeau in a recent interview and he backed it up in a letter sent to season-ticket holders this week, writes Steve Popper of Newsday. There was reportedly some desire for a coaching change among the front office during the season, but Rose’s letter leaves no doubt that Thibodeau will return.

“Our coaching staff is at the heart of our young core’s development and confidence to compete at the highest level, as well as our vets’ ability to produce in their roles,” Rose wrote. “We have seen multiple players take leaps over the last two seasons under Coach Thibodeau’s tutelage and commitment to playing the right way.”

Thibodeau was named Coach of the Year in 2021 after leading the Knicks to a fourth-place finish in the Eastern Conference. Although the team fell out of the playoffs this year, it posted a 12-7 record to finish the season with several veteran players unavailable.

There’s more from New York:

  • The Knicks had a large contingent at today’s playoff game between the Mavericks and Jazz, according to Marc Berman of The New York Post. Executive vice president William Wesley was there, along with front office members Allan Houston and Makhtar N’diaye and the scouting staff. Julius Randle met the group as well. The Knicks are known to have interest in Dallas guard Jalen Brunson in free agency, and there have been reports that they would make a trade offer for Utah’s Donovan Mitchell if he ever becomes available.
  • Rose will likely make at least one significant move this summer to shake up the roster, Ian Begley of predicts in a column for Yahoo Sports. Begley notes that owner James Dolan has given Rose the financial freedom to make whatever changes he believes are necessary, so it would look bad for Rose if next year’s roster is virtually the same.
  • It may be difficult for the Knicks to finalize a rookie-scale extension with RJ Barrett during the offseason, per Yossi Gozlan of HoopsHype. Barrett is eligible for a deal that would start around $37MM in the 2023/24 season. Gozlan believes the team will try to get him to take a starting salary in the $25MM range, similar to the extensions for Jaylen Brown and Jaren Jackson Jr. If Barrett doesn’t reach an agreement, he’ll be on track for restricted free agency next summer.
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