Maurice Cheeks Joining Knicks As Assistant Coach

Veteran Bulls assistant coach Maurice Cheeks is switching Eastern Conference franchises. He’s joining the Knicks as an assistant coach under head coach Tom Thibodeau, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (via Twitter).

According to K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago (Twitter link), Cheeks had intended to step into more of an advisory position with Chicago before the Knicks opportunity emerged. Fred Katz of The Athletic tweets that Thibodeau and Cheeks are longtime friends.

Cheeks, a Hall of Fame point guard and 1983 champion with the Sixers, has served as the head coach of the Trail Blazers, Sixers, and Pistons. He has a 305-315 overall record in the regular season across those three head coaching stints, having made the playoffs in three of his nine seasons.

Since 2015, Cheeks has worked on the staffs of head coach Billy Donovan, first with the Thunder through 2020, and since with the Bulls.

Now, after two years of play-in tournament futility in Chicago, Cheeks will be joining Thibodeau on a New York club that seems poised to be an East contender for years to come, with plenty of draft assets and movable contracts with which it can conceivably improve its personnel.

During Thibodeau’s four seasons with the Knicks, New York has gone 175-143 in the regular season and 14-15 in the playoffs, reaching the second round twice. Thibodeau was named the 2020/21 Coach of the Year during his inaugural season leading the team. This year, beset by a growing injury report, New York fell in a seven-game conference semifinal series to the Pacers.

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