If there is one thing we can count on even when there are no NBA games being played, it is New York Knicks rumors. Even though the Knicks will not be one of the 22 teams heading to Orlando for the NBA’s restart, hopefully in July, the team still finds a way to garner some headlines.
As one of the eight teams that will not be playing any meaningful games in the next few weeks, New York can get started on their offseason to-do list. For how poorly this season went, that list is a lengthy one.
Atop that list is finding a permanent head coach. Interim head coach Mike Miller has done some nice things since taking over for David Fizdale, but with new leadership in place, headed by Leon Rose, changes are likely to follow.
If Miller isn’t brought back, there are plenty of people that believe the job will go to Tom Thibodeau. Thibodeau was an assistant with the Knicks for seven seasons from 1996-2003. In addition to Thibodeau, there are other familiar names linked to the job.
Kenny Atkinson, who was relieved of his duties as head coach of the Brooklyn Nets, was an assistant with the Knicks from 2018-2012 and is expected to get an interview. Former Knicks head coach, Mike Woodson, will also be interviewed for the job.
All of the candidates would bring something positive to the table for the organization. However, as we’ve always seen, for those coaches to maximize their skills on the sidelines, they need players who can execute it on the court.
This Knicks roster needs upgrades in multiple spots. Hopefully, the 2020 NBA Draft Lottery is kind to them and they will have a chance to land a legitimate building block at point guard to pair with RJ Barrett.
In addition to a lead guard, New York needs players that can knock down a jumper, namely a 3-point shot. Alas, that has a big man that can spread the floor near the top of the team’s to-do list this offseason.
According to SNY, the Knicks are in the market for a big man that can shoot. The team has three draft picks this year and could address the need via that route. Or, they could spend some money in free agency and bring in a veteran to fill the role.
Some familiar names will be free agents this season. Carmelo Anthony and Danilo Gallinari are two players Knicks fans are familiar with. Christian Wood is another player to keep an eye on, as he was having a breakout season with the Detroit Pistons filling in for the injured Blake Griffin and traded Andre Drummond.
The Knicks being linked for power forwards will make their fans sick. Last offseason, they signed four players that could be categorized as power forwards, Julius Randle, Bobby Portis, Taj Gibson and Marcus Morris, and drafted Ignas Brazdeikis. That is in addition to already having Kevin Knox in the fold, who should have been receiving as many minutes as he could handle.
This past season, Morris led the team in 3-point shooting, knocking down 43.9 percent. Portis was a respectable 35.9 percent, but his future with the team is up in the air.
While more power forwards will open themselves up to being the punchline of jokes again, the need for 3-point shooting is clear. If they can add a knockdown shooter, even if it is at the power forward spot, they should not hesitate to do so. Floor spacing is imperative in today’s NBA and would open things up for Barrett and Mitchell Robinson, but the Knicks don’t have any of it.