New York Knicks: Tom Thibodeau Paired With Anthony Edwards Could Be A Successful Recipe

New York Knicks, Tom Thibodeau

If the New York Knicks secure a top three pick during the 2020 NBA Draft Lottery and eventually go on to select Georgia star Anthony Edwards on draft night, there’s a chance coach Tom Thibodeau could oversee the youngster’s early NBA development. Similar to how Thibs oversaw Derrick Rose’s young career starting with Rose’s third NBA season before all the injuries.

There are rumbles around the NBA and media about Thibodeau’s tough style in terms of heavy game minutes and often long practices. This questions his ability to adapt to a style feasible for the long term health of younger talent.

Could Tom Thibodeau run the younger guys into the ground?

Is there even such a thing as running talent into the ground due to a constant heavy dosage of game minutes? Many have opinions regarding the matter of load management. With the NBA implementing load management for its players, Thibodeau has no choice but to change his vigorous style and adapt to this new era which includes the hot topic of keeping players healthy at least for the postseason.

According to Shaun Powell of nba.com, Peak Performance Project collects data through assessments of a player’s body and his high velocity movements to identify his physical strengths and weaknesses, raise red flags for areas that could be prone to potential injury, and give him and his team information to help improve performance. There’s also training sessions designed to prevent injuries and enhance the muscles and movements needed to reach potential. The training session is a elite athlete optimization that’s suddenly vital to careers.

According to Dr. Marcus Elliott, founder and director of the Peak Performance Project,

“Load management is about lowering the threshold of load on a player so that he’s able to recover and decrease the risk of injury or chronic fatigue”.

Anthony Edwards would be fine playing under Coach Thibodeau with these fairly new conditions put in place to protect the talent from career altering injuries. One thing for sure, Edwards has a ton to learn on the defensive end and Thibodeau would mold the young talent into a two-way player similar to Jimmy Butler.

New York Knicks Daymean Dotson could be next to go

New York Knicks, Damyean Dotson

Another New York Knicks shooting guard might be on the move.  The New York Post’s Marc Berman thinks that shooting guard Daymean Dotson won’t be with the team next year.

“In (Damyean) Dotson’s case, he was a Phil Jackson draft pick.  Because there’s no attachment to Rose or Perry, Dotson is as good as gone” Berman says.  It’s unfortunate circumstances because this Knicks guard never got a true chance.

Dotson did start 40 games for the Knicks in the 2018-19 season.  He averaged 27 minutes per and 10 points.  However, it still feels like the Knicks quickly gave up on Dotson.

The Knicks recently waived Allonzo Trier.  The Arizona shooting guard was instant offense for the team but somewhat of a ball hog.  However, he was a defensive liability.

Dotson didn’t get a legit shot to showcase his skills for the Knicks.  His minutes were very staggered throughout his career.  Dotson never got a chance to find his groove despite being a above average two-way player.

The Knicks could use his 3-point shooting off the bench.  Dotson shot 36% which isn’t the best but the Knicks 3-point shooting is awful to begin with.

Unfortunately, what Berman says is correct.  Dotson has no ties to the new regime in the front office. But, they should notice his skill set.  The New York Knicks could be losing out on a valuable bench player if they let him go.

New York Knicks to have their new head coach by July 31st

New York Knicks, Leon Rose

The New York Knicks are expected to have their next head coach by July 31st.  This comes from SNY’s Ian Begley.  As of right now, it appears that Tom Thibodeau remains the leader in the clubhouse for the position.

The Knicks and their new team president Leon Rose will interview 11 candidates for the job.  Some of the other interviewees include, Kenny Atkinson, Mike Miller and Mike Woodson.  Other applicants Mike Brown, Jamahl Mosley, Chris Fleming, etc.  And one more name you can throw in, Jason Kidd?  However, there’s no official word that he’ll interview.

While all those other candidates are fine coaches, it’s Tibbs as the front runner for the Knicks gig.

Sports fan these days don’t look at the past.  It’s all about ‘what have you done for me lately’.  In Tibb’s case, his last coaching job didn’t end well.  However, he did take Minnesota to the playoffs for the first time in 13 years.  The Knicks are running on a, current, 8 yer drought.

While his last gig had it’s ups and downs, fans like to look at the developmental aspect of Tibbs’ tenure in Minnesota.  While that didn’t go as expected, people forget that he did develop a young Chicago Bulls team.  Rose, Noah and company were in their early 20’s and looking to win a title.  That couldn’t have happened with Thibodeau developing them into winners.  It couldn’t have happened if Tibbs didn’t know how to get the most out of those young players and push them.

A lot of Knicks fans will want Atkinson due to his ability to develop players as well.  He was able to take a Brooklyn Nets team, with a lot of average players, and turn them into a playoff team.  Atkinson also knows how to get the best out of his players.

Whoever the Knicks decide on for their next coach, fans won’t agree.  It comes with the territory of being a Knicks fan, we don’t agree on anything.  But for those fans that don’t want Tibbs, he had a second interview for the New York Knicks job and it’s his to lose.

Lamelo Ball reportedly wants to be a Knick, what does this mean?

New York Knicks, Lamelo Ball

The NBA Draft Lottery may not be until August 25, but that doesn’t mean we won’t see our fair share of New York Knicks draft rumors from now until then. They’ve already begun to circulate with the Knicks not participating in the Orlando NBA restart later this month, as teams speculate that top prospect LaMelo Ball and members of his circle want him to end up in New York, according to Ian Begley of SNY:

As teams do their homework on players in the draft, there’s been a consistent theme about LaMelo Ball: multiple teams believe Ball and those in his circle prefer that he lands in New York. (Those teams have picks projected later in the first round than the Knicks, for what it’s worth.)

The Knicks currently have just a 9 percent chance to get the first overall pick and 37.2 percent chance to land in the top four. If they wanted Ball, however, they would likely need to land a top-three pick at least. They do have assets to trade up if they so choose, such as the Clippers first-round pick and the Mavericks 2021 and 2023 first-round picks, but it remains to be seen if that’s what they would do.

Ball’s outspoken father, Lavar, has never been shy to express his opinion and has made it known multiple times that he wants his son on the New York Knicks. The most recent time was during an appearance on the ‘Say Less with Kaz’ podcast last month, where Lavar explained why he felt the Knicks were an ideal landing spot for not only LaMelo but all three of his sons:

They don’t have anything. The last time they won a championship was back in the 1970s. The bright lights, you need a whole new turnaround over there. The person I want to see (LaMelo) play with – he can play with anybody. I want to see him play (with), they got to know this – if you getting Melo, you getting Gelo (LiAngelo Ball). That boy shoot the heck out of that ball. Play with chemistry with (LaMelo) better than everybody ever. And after that you have a chance to get ‘Zo (Lonzo Ball). You don’t need one person to change no franchise. You need a whole culture change, and that takes all three of my boys. All three of my boys on the same team? Who ain’t going to watch that show? That would be the biggest show in the NBA ever.

Lavar’s confidence in his boys is admirable, but the prerequisites he’s demanding could give the Knicks or any team pause about drafting his son. Lavar brings with him a lot of drama and bad press if he doesn’t get what he wants, and the last thing the Knicks need is more of that. Wanting the Knicks to bring in all three of the Ball brothers is a lot to ask for and could disrupt their own plan on how to build the roster.

Lonzo Ball is a member of the New Orleans Pelicans and is in the third year of his rookie contract. He’s set to be a restricted free agent in 2021, which means the Pelicans have the right to match any offer the Knicks might make. LiAngelo Ball is a member of the Oklahoma City Blue in the G League, so he’ll be much easier to sign, but the Knicks might not see him as talented enough for the roster.

The New York Knicks would be a great fit for LeMelo Ball

However, if the Knicks are on board or work out some kind of compromise, then LaMelo Ball could be a fantastic fit. Standing at 6’8” and just over 180 lbs, Ball possesses superb size for the position. He also has excellent court vision and passing ability, as he possesses rare playmaking traits for someone his age. He’ll need to become a more consistent shooter and better defender, but the potential is there in both areas. Ball has tremendous upside and all the tools to be the franchise point guard the Knicks have been desperately lacking for a long time.

In 12 games for the Illawarra Hawks of the National Basketball League in Australia, Ball averaged about 17 points, 7 assists, 8 rebounds, and 2 steals in just over 31 minutes a game. He shot 37.5 percent from the floor and 25 percent from three.

Now, as enticing as Ball is, the Knicks still need the lottery luck in order to land him despite all the rumors. Plus, the talk of him wanting to be a Knick is nothing new for fans as similar rumors surfaced with Zion Williamson last year and with Stephen Curry back in 2009, among others. The team did reportedly have Ball ranked as their top point guard in the draft, but it remains to be seen whether or not Leon Rose and his new front office will be aggressive in getting their guy if they aren’t in position to pick him.

Maurice Harkless Will Be A Free Agent This Year; But Should The New York Knicks Sign Him?

New York Knicks, Maurice Harkless

On the day of the trade deadline this year, the New York Knicks pulled the trigger on a rumor that was up in the air for a couple of months prior.  Sending Marcus Morris to the LA Clippers in exchange for a few draft picks and small forward Maurice Harkless, the Knicks illustrated once again that their rebuilding process is still far from over.

Leaning towards a similar rebuild to that of the Atlanta Hawks, the Knicks are keen on constructing a durable foundation of young, cornerstone players accompanied by a deep and versatile supporting cast.  And although Morris was certainly the most consistent player on the team, the Knicks put themselves in the position they needed to be in to achieve their ultimate goal with their new franchise.

However, what makes this trade quite interesting, is that the Knicks also threw in Harkless, who will be a free agent this year.  Starting his career with the Orlando Magic in 2012, Harkless has yet to hit his stride as the scorer and playmaker many thought he could be coming out of St. John’s (ESPN).  Playing three seasons in Orlando, another four in Portland, and then half a season with the Clippers before coming to the Knicks, Harkless has always been a spot-on shooter but hasn’t been as consistent and productive as a scoring contributor.

For example, when he was playing with Portland in 2016-17, Harkless started 69 of the 77 games he played, was logging in just about 29 minutes per game, yet was only posting about 10 ppg with 4.4 rpg, 1.1 apg, and 1.1 spg (ESPN).  Yes, he was playing with both Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum, but considering the starting minutes he got, Harkless did not have much to show for.

Nonetheless, the Knicks don’t have much depth amongst their forwards, particularly after losing their best one to the Clippers.  Furthermore, the Knicks have a very young team that could benefit from the insight of an eight-year vet like Harkless.

In addition, the favorable catch here with Harkless is that he joined the league at a very young age and is still only 27 years old, carrying plenty of upside to turn around his quiet start to his NBA career.  Although he didn’t play much in New York before COVID-19 struck the globe, Harkless displayed bursts of bright talent with a team that was far more inferior in skill in comparison to what he had in LA.  But it’s not very clear if that was enough to convince the Knicks to sign him to a new contract before he enters free agency this year.  And with this lumbering question mark still floating up in the air, it remains to be uncertain whether the Knicks will sign the New York native or pass him along elsewhere.

That being said, the Knicks have nothing to lose and Harkless makes for a great add on for their supporting cast, mainly for two big reasons.  The first is his ability to adapt to any playing style, system, or structure that he’s a part of.  Because Harkless has a wide range of skills, he fits well with any type of format and can alter his role around anyone.  He’s a small forward who can play at the two or even as a stretch four, he’s a good perimeter defender, crashes the glass when he needs to and has shot nearly 48% from the field over his entire career (ESPN).

We’re talking about a forward who’s not only played in a system with Victor Oladipo, Tobias Harris, and Nikola Vučević back in Orlando, but also with Lillard and McCollum in Portland as well as Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, and Lou Williams in LA; he’s played with almost every type of role player you can have in the NBA and he’s done so successfully.  With the Knicks frequently implementing all sorts of different changes and bringing in new comers in an attempt to solidify their foundation, Harkless provides consistency, flexibility, and depth for a team that’s in need of all three of those factors.  Whether he should start over fellow small forward Kevin Knox, is certainly still up for debate.  But Harkless deserves 20+ minutes and has the potential to be a great asset for this team.

Secondly, the Knicks could snag Harkless on a small, one year, “prove it” deal that would not only be very cost efficient but would also grant Harkless the opportunity to validate his worth.  After Harkless signed a four-year, $42 million-dollar deal with the Trail Blazers in 2015, he produced solid numbers and was a key contributor towards the team’s success, but essentially, failed to live up to his contract.  As a result, it’s highly unlikely any team in the NBA will grant him a big contract over free agency, which doesn’t give Harkless much room to negotiate a long-term deal that could dissuade the Knicks from signing him.  For someone as young and well-rounded as Harkless is, the least the Knicks could do is offer a one year deal and give him a shot to prove that he’s worth their investment.  And with the franchise still experimenting with which players can make a difference in the long run, signing Moe Harkless is not a bad bet.

New York Knicks: Why trading for Devin Booker should be a top priority

New York Knicks, Devin Booker

Leon Rose and the New York Knicks have their work cut out for them as they will be faced with a number of important decisions to make over the next few months. They need to choose their new head coach out of the long list of candidates they’re interviewing, they need to figure out who they’re going to draft in October once they know where their pick lies, and they need to decide both what to do with their own free agents and which new free agents to bring in from around the league.

However, another big decision that the Knicks should be all over is trying their best to work out a trade for Phoenix Suns’ star combo guard Devin Booker. As Marc Berman of the New York Post mentioned in his most recent Knicks mailbag, Booker is emerging as a prime trade candidate for the Knicks:

Booker would make sense as a trade target for a number of reasons. He’s already a borderline superstar who will only be 24 years old by the time next seasons starts. He’s locked up contract-wise for the next four seasons, as he’s in the first year of a 5-year, $158 million dollar extension he signed with Phoenix in 2018.

Then there’s also the relationship Booker has with Rose and William Wesley, who was recently hired as the Knicks’ new executive vice present/senior basketball advisor. Booker was a CAA client under Rose and had a close relationship with him and Wesley dating back to his days at Kentucky under Coach John Calipari, who also has a close relationship with them from being a CAA client himself.

Booker’s production has been phenomenal throughout his first 5 seasons, as he’s improved each year. He has career averages of 22.3 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 4.7 assists, and is also one of the best and most efficient scorers in the game with a career shooting percentages of 44.7 from the field and 35.5 from three. This season Booker was having a career year where he was averaging about 26 points, 7 assists, and 4 rebounds a game while shooting 48.7 percent from the field and 36 percent from three en route to earning his first All-Star nod.

Like many good players in any sports league, however, Booker is the type of franchise cornerstone who can be a perennial All-Star, but he’s been held back by his team when it comes to winning games. Phoenix has been a consistent bottom-feeder since Booker’s been there, having failed to win more than 24 games through his first four seasons. The Suns did have a record of 26-39 this year once the NBA was suspended back in March, but they were still only the 13th seed in the stacked Western Conference and nowhere near the playoffs. They did make the 22-team NBA restart in Orlando at the end of this month, but their run likely won’t last very long. There have been reports for a little while now of Booker growing unhappy in Phoenix and how he is tired of all the losing, so a change of scenery might soon be in the cards for Booker.

Now before you say anything, I know what you’re thinking. Why in the world would Booker want to go from a losing team in the Suns to an even worse losing team in the Knicks? That’s a very valid point, as the Knicks have been the league’s worst team over the past 20 years with only one (!) playoff series win since the turn of the century. Despite the Knicks’ long-standing futility and organizational dysfunction, there are a few reasons why the Knicks might be appealing to Booker rather than just the other way around.

The most obvious reason is the relationship he has with Rose and Wesley, as mentioned earlier. When Rose was hired as the new Knicks president, Booker had nothing but strong praise for Rose when asked about his former agent and how he’ll do in his new gig:

“I think he’ll [Rose] do unbelievable. One of the most genuine guys I know. One of the most honest guys I know. So I’m happy for him in his new position. I think the Knicks are in really good hands.”

Booker obviously thinks very highly of both Rose and Wesley, and that could give the Knicks a huge advantage in their efforts to acquire him via trade. Another reason is that New York would be a much better situation for Booker than Phoenix. Aside from the obvious career and endorsement benefits that come with playing at an arena like Madison Square Garden in the nation’s biggest market, playing in the Eastern Conference would give Booker a greater chance of making the playoffs and not being snubbed for All-Star games year in and year out due to it being a weaker conference.

The Knicks also have the cap flexibility and assets to be able to take on Booker’s contract and bring in other stars to play alongside him, like his former Kentucky teammate Karl Anthony-Towns. Towns have been the center of trade rumblings for quite some time now and has expressed his unhappiness in Minnesota. Depending on who the Knicks hire as their head coach, Towns would be another guy the Knicks could target to pair with Booker and create a young dynamic duo to build the team around for years to come.

So, at the end of the day, this is all just speculation. We don’t know whether or not this will actually become reality, but it seems the pieces are starting to be put in place for a possible deal to happen down the road. The Knicks have more important things to focus on for now, and by no means should they throw away all their draft capital and core pieces for Booker or for anyone. That scenario is all too familiar for Knick fans. But, if the opportunity presents itself in the near future where they can acquire a talent like Booker without having to give up too much in return, they should definitely consider it. It would go a long way in accelerating their rebuild and attracting other players to come play for the Knicks as well.

Will James Dolan Patiently Allow Leon Rose And “World Wide Wes” to Rebuild The New York Knicks?

New York Knicks, James Dolan

Leon Rose, Wesley Williams, Scott Perry, Walt Perrin, Alex Kline, and the New York Knicks have been occupied during the pandemic. Watching film, talking to colleagues, accessing resources, and holding virtual draft prospect interviews during this weird off-season, all in which have been an irregular, tedious, and abnormal process have been ongoing. However, many are looking at the big picture wondering if New York Knicks Owner James Dolan will patiently allow Leon Rose and Wesley Williams, also known as “World Wide Wes”, to rebuild the once prominent basketball squad in New York City during the 1990’s.

Rebuilding a winning basketball team requires the top of the rebuilding organization to have all necessary personnel in their correct and respective positions within their individual professional specialties. Combining basketball minds is crucial, however, basketball minds still need time to execute strategic rebuilding and culture plans. All personnel must be on the same page starting with the front office all the way to the organization’s G-League affiliate (Westchester Knicks). Therefore, continuity is key to a well functioning organization and the New York Knicks are thirsting for stability and overall continuity, especially within the top part of the organization.

The Knicks are near the end of their coaching search and it would be the perfect time to begin practicing stability by retaining Mike Miller and making him the next head coach. The players seem to respect Mike Miller and he has a great basketball mind due to his previous winning stint with the Westchester Knicks a few years ago along with his advanced understanding of Tex Winters beloved triangle offense which encourages ball movement. Mike Miller took over from David Fizdale and rallied the troops. Player development is also Mike Miller’s strong suit.

Once the Knicks find their coach, James Dolan must let the revamped front office work and execute. Stability must be priority. Let the basketball minds do their jobs without worrying about termination at any given moment.

New York Knicks: Kenny Wooten Earns All-Defensive Team Award

New York Knicks, Kenny Wooten

Kenny Wooten Jr. who is currently on the New York Knicks affiliate squad, Westchester Knicks recently earned the All-Defensive Team Award. Wooten is a master when it comes to blocking shots and applying pressure to opposing rim attacks.

The 6’9″ 220-pound pogo stick in Kenny Wooten is making it easy for the Knicks due to his hard nose style of play. Current main team teammate, Mitchell Robinson believes Kenny Wooten is actually the highest leaper on the entire team, both New York and its Westchester affiliate combined.

Kenny Wooten who is fully healed from his thumb injury is looking to earn a spot on the New York Knicks main team this offseason under new Knicks front office led by Leon Rose and William Wesley also known as “World Wide Wes”.

The Knicks are currently in need of a backup center and if Kenny Wooten continues to improve and gain accolades especially due to his defensive disruption, there might be a spot on the main Knicks squad behind Mitchell Robinson. If LaMelo Ball falls unto the New York Knicks lap on draft night, then there’ll be two bigs who’ll make LaMelo’s life super easy when it comes to the pick and roll and lob attacks.

The front office for the New York Knicks seems to be playing chess instead of checkers under Leon Rose. Many fans disagreed with the recent waiving of Allonzo Trier, however, that decision seemed more like a financial one.

Overall, Kenny Wooten is already loved by Knick fans and he hasn’t even played a single game for the New York Knicks under the bright lights of Madison Square Garden. He’ll get his opportunity whenever the time is right. Wooten’s hard work and humility are not going unnoticed.

BREAKING: New York Knicks Waive Allonzo Trier To Bring in Theo Pinson

New York Knicks, Allonzo Trier

According to SNY, the New York Knicks will be parting ways with the 24 year old guard Allonzo Trier in order to bring in former Nets guard, Theo Pinson. Allonzo Trier was an undrafted free agent, and in two seasons with the Knicks, had averaged 9.7 points on 45.5% from the field and 38.4 percent from three in 19.9 minutes per game.

The Knicks are getting a player averaging 3.9 points on 30.7% from the field and 21.4% from three. Speaking personally here, this move has little statistical sense to it, as the Knicks’ offense needs shooters for RJ Barrett, but they just let go of one of their better shooters for a worse one.

The Knicks still have the draft and free agency to go, they are saving a couple million dollars with this move, but the amount they’re saving is insignificant to the talent drop they just experienced. How will this move pan out for the Knicks? Probably poorly, but Theo is young and so I will reserve doubt for when I actually see him play rather than now.

Knicks claim guard Jared Harper, waive Kadeem Allen

New York Knicks, Jared Harper

After the slew of front office moves that have been announced over the past few months, the New York Knicks switched it up on Thursday with some roster news, per Shams Charania of The Athletic:

Jared Harper is a guard who went undrafted last year. He was signed to a two-way contract by the Phoenix Suns and spent most of this season playing for their G-League affiliate, the Northern Arizona Suns.

Harper may only stand at 5’10” and 175 lbs, but that hasn’t stopped him from putting up great numbers. In 33 G-League games, all of them starts, he averaged about 21 points, 6 assists, 3 rebounds and 1 steal per game while shooting over 41 percent from the field and 36 percent from three. Harper was called up but only played in three games for Phoenix before the league was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Because of the NBA suspension and G-League season shutdown from the coronavirus, Harper was waived by the Suns back in March, but teams weren’t able to claim him until the league’s transaction window opened on June 23.

In college, Harper had a very productive three-year run at Auburn with career averages of 13.5 points, 4.8 assists, and 1.2 steals. He shot 38.4 percent from the field and 35.9 percent from three. Harper was named Second Team All-SEC twice and lead Auburn to a Final Four appearance in 2019, where he was named the NCAA Tournament Midwest Regional Most Outstanding Player for his performance. Harper also became the third player in Auburn history to score at least 1,000 points and 500 assists.

In order to make room for Harper, the Knicks needed to get rid of one of their two-way contracts, so they released guard Kadeem Allen who had been with New York since 2018. Harper now replaces Allen alongside forward Kenny Wooten as the Knicks two players on two-way contracts. In 29 games for the Knicks over the past 2 seasons, Allen averaged 8.2 points, 3.3 assists, and 2.1 rebounds, but spent most of his time in the G-League with the Westchester Knicks.

This marks the first roster move made under new Knicks president Leon Rose. After spending the last few months piecing together what his front office will look like, Rose took a break from that and turned his attention to the roster. Over the course of the next few months, Rose and his team will be deciding on a new head coach from their growing list of candidates and preparing themselves for both the draft and free agency.