Morning Knicks 8/20: Knicks Want Donovan Mitchell "Badly," Draft Lottery Percentages, and More
-The Knicks' hiring of Johnnie Bryant as associate head coach was seen as a player development move with the added bonus of having strong ties with Donovan Mitchell. However, the connection to the Jazz All Star is more important than originally expected. Forbes's Adam Zagoria wrote that the Knicks want Mitchell "badly," but that there "may be a possible conflict with R.J. [Barrett],” and “there’s a debate in the front office if they can play together.” Mitchell grew up a Knicks fan and Leon Rose was his first agent, but if this rumor is true, we could see New York go after the Utah star more aggressively.
-Tonight is the biggest day for Knicks fans in a long time: the 2020 NBA Draft Lottery. The Knicks have had some bad luck for years in the lottery, but all it takes is one good lottery night for the franchise's fortunes to turn around. Newsday's Steve Popper wrote about the percentages of what pick the Knicks could wind up with.
For some Knicks fans, the true prize of landing the number one overall pick would be the chance to draft LaMelo Ball. The jumbo-sized point guard has incredible court vision and may have the most star potential out of anyone in the draft. Marc Berman of The New York Post wrote about the quest for Ball and how tonight's lottery could be the first step in getting the young star.
-We've heard former Knicks' head coach Jeff Van Gundy praise the hiring of Tom Thibodeau, but The Athletic's Mike Vorkunov got the broadcaster to open up and delve into what makes Thibs such a great coach. Vorkunov's notes are filled with fantastic quotes from Van Gundy and others, and they provide even more background on the Knicks' next head coach. One interesting note is that Van Gundy says he doesn't believe Thibodeau should be viewed as a defensive coach, and when he brought in Thibs to be on his Knicks' staff, it was because of his offensive mind.
-Yesterday saw the birth of an exciting new website with incredible Knicks' content. Our own Alex Wolfe and Jonathan Macri, along with some of your favorite Knicks' writers on the Internet, have come together to produce The Strickland. The new site will be churning out Knicks' articles and podcasts, and you should check it out here. The Strickland already has pieces out about Killian Hayes and Danilo Gallinari, and you can be sure more top-notch Knicks content is on the way.