Morning Knicks 6/11: Knicks Want Big Who Can Shoot, Who to Watch in the NBA's Return, and More
-SNY's Ian Begley reported that the Knicks are targeting a "big man who can shoot" in the offseason. The move would make sense; stretch bigs are valuable in the modern NBA, particularly when one could play alongside Mitchell Robinson. The key is to make sure that player can also defend. Bobby Portis is a solid three-point shooter, but anything he provided the Knicks on offense, he gave back on the defensive end. Begley broke down which big men New York could target in free agency, as well as other moves they could consider, in his most recent mailbag.
-When the NBA returns, the team that Knicks fans should be watching closely is their division rivals, the Philadelphia 76ers, writes our own Jonathan Macri. It may sound like blasphemy to suggest the Sixers could trade Joel Embiid, but given the struggles the team has endured this season, it isn't out of the question. Jonathan sets up a scenario where Philadelphia's disappointing season ends in turmoil, and Leon Rose tries to find a way to bring his former client to Madison Square Garden.
-Leon Rose's plan for the Knicks is still not clear, but some think he will lean toward making an immediate impact in an attempt to get New York back on the winning track right away. Given all the time and hard work the organization has put into acquiring assets and cap space, it would be unwise to get impatient. Sam Quinn of CBS Sports wrote a detailed piece breaking down every aspect of the Knicks and what possibilities await the team as the offseason begins. Quinn ultimately said that because the team won't be winning anything of significance next season, they shouldn't make short-term decisions that diminish their long-term outlook. It's hard to disagree with Quinn, especially given the weak draft and free agency class coming up. If the Knicks sit tight, develop their young players, and utilize their cap space properly, the team could be ready to strike in 2021 when a number of top-tier free agents become available.
-Kenny Atkinson seems to be the fan favorite for next Knicks' head coach, even though Tom Thibodeau sits at the top of the front office's list. If things don't work out with Thibs, Atkinson could be next in line. The Athletic's Mike Vorkunov did a deep dive into Atkinson's resume, what others have said about him, and how he would fit in New York. The former Nets coach has proven to be great at player development, and he's certainly familiar with coaching in this market.
Former Knick Raymond Felton became the latest to speak out on the team's head coaching search. Felton went on Knicks Fan TV and spoke highly of two candidates he got to player under during his time in New York: Mike Woodson (he was Felton's head coach for a time) and Atkinson (an assistant coach for Mike D'Antoni when he was there). You can read more about Felton's praise for the two potential coaches from SNY's Ian Begley.
-Any fans hopeful of the pipe dream of John Calipari to the Knicks saw those chances take another hit yesterday. Marc Berman of The New York Post spoke with former Knicks coach and Calipari's friend Larry Brown, who said he doubts the Kentucky coach would want to leave the Wildcats for New York. You can read more on Berman's interview with Brown about Calipari here.