The New York Knicks are a very young team, and with seven first-round draft picks over the next four years they aren’t getting any younger. Knicks president Leon Rose seems to understand the importance of player development, and according to Ian Bagley of SNY he’s making a big effort to address that department:
There is internal consideration in the organization to hire a significant number of player-development coaches for Thibodeau’s staff, per SNY sources.
To clarify, these coaches would not be replacing the assistant coaches Thibodeau would want to bring in for his staff. Instead, they’ll be hired in addition to Thibodeau’s coaches, which means that the Knicks coaching staff will be expanding.
This is a very logical and smart move by Rose and the Knicks, as the development of their young roster is critical to the team’s success both now and long-term. Thibodeau seemed to be in lockstep with Rose on this, as he pointed out the need for strong player development during his introductory press conference on Thursday.
Begley also mentions how former Knicks head coach David Fizdale had one of the smallest player development staff and coaching staff in general during his tenure. It seems expanding player development coaching has become a common practice around the league, with other teams, especially rebuilding ones, already going down that path in recent years.
Thibodeau also stated that he plans to utilize the G League in regards to player development as well. This is very encouraging and something the Knicks didn’t really take advantage of last year. It was reported over the last couple of days that former vice president of player development Craig Robinson wanted to give some of the young players who weren’t seeing a lot of minutes more time in the G League so they could get more playing time, but general manager Scott Perry, who Rose retained, felt as if it would be too big of a demotion.
Fortunately, it seems as though Rose and Thibodeau are on the same page in that they believe in using the G League more, so hopefully, they stick to that thinking cause it can really be beneficial.
Overall, it seems as though the new Knicks regime is serious about making sure they are able to properly develop their youth, and expanding the coaching staff to bring in more people that specialize in that area is a very wise move. It will be interesting to see who the Knicks add to pair with Thibodeau and the coaches he chooses to join him.