New New York Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau wants his new team to be as competitive as possible right away, as opposed to rebuilding slowly. As such, Thibodeau is pushing New York’s front office to make “win now” moves over the offseason in the draft and free agency, according to Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News.
The Knicks finished 12th overall in the Eastern Conference last season with a 21-45 overall record. In turn, they weren’t invited to participate in the league’s restart in the bubble in Orlando, and thus they haven’t played any meaningful games since March. In the eight years that Thibodeau served as a coach for the Chicago Bulls and Minnesota Timberwolves, he made the postseason in six of those seasons, and he clearly wants to add to that number.
“From what we’ve gathered from two sources who’ve been in contact with the Knicks about roster decisions, Tom Thibodeau is pushing win-now moves. That’s predictable. It’s how the coach is wired. Thibodeau is also a former team president who acknowledged having a say in New York’s roster construction.
We’ll see shortly how this shakes out. The Knicks need talent and there’s enough out there to construct a playoff team this summer, which, after seven straight lottery seasons, should be a priority.”
For Thibodeau, it’s important to him that he has a voice in the basketball decisions that the Knicks make going forward.
“I think the important thing for me is to just be able to have a voice,” Thibodeau said recently. “I’ve known Leon [Rose] and [top Knicks executive William Wesley] for a long time, so they’ve asked my opinion on a number of things. Doesn’t mean that they’re always going to do what I ask them to do, but I think there’s a trust factor there, so I do think that’s important.”
Upon being named the Knicks new coach in July, Thibodeau, who previously served as an assistant with the Knicks, called the job a dream come true.
“This a dream come true for me,” Thibodeau said in a Zoom press conference. “This is my dream job … “Maybe part of that is I grew up in Connecticut. My father, my family, we grew up as Knicks fans. I think I experienced it during the ’90s that there’s no better place to be than Madison Square Garden. And so I love challenges, I love that city, I love the arena, I love the fans and I’m excited about the team.”
With free agency starting in less than a week, it will be very interesting to see what kind of moves the Knicks look to make, and if they listen to Thibodeau’s request of making moves that will help the team to win now. If New York’s reported interest in Rockets All-Star guard Russell Westbrook is any indication, then it’s very possible that they will indeed be looking to make a big splash over the offseason.