The New York Knicks have officially announced the hire of Tom Thibodeau as their next head coach, and with that, there are several players who should thrive under his leadership.
This is Tom Thibodeau’s first job since 2018 when he was fired by the Minnesota Timberwolves after starting the season with a record of 19-21. Now, he will take over a New York Knicks team that in 2019 finished with a record of 21-45.
Despite the unceremonious end to his Timberwolves tenure, Tom Thibodeau has enforced the reputation that he will work nonstop to get the most out of his players. In eight full seasons as a head coach, Thibodeau has had six seasons of winning 45+ games. The Knicks have won 45+ games in just one season since 2001.
Additionally, Thibodeau has had six different players earn All-Star nods under his coaching. Those names include Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, Jimmy Butler, Luol Deng, Pau Gasol, and Karl-Anthony Towns. For five of the players not named Pau Gasol, it was the first All-Star appearance of their careers.
The Knicks have a mixture of veterans and young players while also having lots of cap space and seven first-round picks over the next four years. The 2020-21 team is likely going to look vastly different than the squad that suited up for the 2019-20 season.
In fact, the Knicks only have seven players that are on contracts with fully guaranteed salaries next season. Thibodeau is apparently already looking to get in some work with those guys as soon as possible.
Thibodeau’s respectable track record with player development should mean that a few current Knicks will see a rather large improvement next season. But which ones?
Here are three players that are most likely to have a huge increase in productivity next season under Tom Thibodeau: