Leon Rose, rookie president of Knicks, said he “has no timeline” to overcome the seven-year playoff drought, but has hired a coach who is smart at player development and will speed up their journey.
Thibodeau praised her two young properties in RJ Barrett and Mitchell Robinson and admitted that two other young prospects, Kevin Knox and Frank Ntilikina, had “growing pain”. Thibodeau said he didn’t want to make judgments until he worked with them – probably at OTAs for Delete 8 in mid-August.
When he called Zoom, Rose asked questions from the media for the first time when he introduced Thibodeau as head coach.
“We haven’t set a schedule. We take it one day at a time. We felt that Tom is this coach who, with his development, can make us an eternal winner. It happens step by step, ”said Rose. “At the moment we don’t know how the roster will develop. We have choices we have to make. The most important thing is to convey the culture, to concentrate on the development and to adopt it from there. “
The Knicks have several of their own free agents to decide whether to exercise their option, but Knox and Ntilikina are in the midst of their rookie contracts. Ntilikina, a lottery choice for 2017, came late this season. Knox, her lottery choice for 2018, faded.
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“With Frank and Kevin, they’re both young people with talent,” said Thibodeau. “Apart from that, I don’t make any real observations until I’m close to them. As with most young players, there is growing pain and there are steps that players need to take. Sometimes we measure guys against guys that are already established and you forget the steps these guys have to take to get where they are. It is an important part of it. Understanding how to get there is work, sacrifice, and commitment. A person’s determination and perseverance is critical to his development. “
Rose recently named Barrett and Robinson their two properties. The Post has reported that Thibodeau is keen to work with Robinson, an elite shot blocker, to make him an even more sophisticated defender.
“I want to bypass the players to work with and get to know them better,” said Thibodeau. “Based on the film, I really think RJ has a very bright future, just like Mitchell Robinson. These are two that stand out. But we have a lot of young talent. I don’t like to qualify for people until I’m around them. “
Rose has to decide whether to exercise team options for Taj Gibson, Reggie Bullock, Elfrid Payton and Bobby Portis. Maurice Harkless is an absolute free agent. Gibson has previously played for Thibodeau in Minnesota and Chicago and could be a candidate for return. Portis and Payton are expected to be Goner.