What drives the reports that the Knicks are a potential landing spot for Russell Westbrook in a trade? Or the rumor that New York has interest in Boston’s Gordon Hayward.
It could be fueled by people partial to Knicks’ new coach, Tom Thibodeau. Unsurprisingly, Thibodeau is pushing for win-now moves, reports Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News.
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.
This is Thibodeau’s MO. Remember, in Minnesota he traded Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn, and a first-round pick (which Chicago used to select Lauri Markkanen) for Jimmy Butler. While that Timberwolves team made the playoffs, Butler clashed with Karl-Anthony Towns and then-Timberwolves wing Andrew Wiggins, and pushed his way out the door one season later (he was traded to Philadelphia, where he played a season then took his talents to South Beach).
What is Knicks’ president Leon Rose‘s MO? Good question. Nobody knows, he’s never had a position like this before and he’s been silent about the Knicks’ intentions. Will they make a move for a Westbrook or Hayward or Victor Oladipo and add some veterans, looking to push up into the East playoffs next season? Or, will he take a slower, developmental building approach while keeping the cap space alive to chase Giannis Antetokounmpo or another superstar free agent in the 2021 offseason?
We’ll find out in the coming weeks what Rose wants to do. We already know what direction Thibodeau wants to go.