Jeff Chiu/Associated Press
The New York Knicks have assembled a large and diverse list of head coaching candidates, though it has seemed former Chicago Bulls and Minnesota Timberwolves coach Tom Thibodeau had the inside track on the job.
Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News reported the job was “Thibodeau’s to lose” at the start of June, and Shams Charania of Stadium and The Athletic reported he remained the front-runner at the end of the month.
However, it is possible the Knicks are weighing the summer of 2021 into their head coaching hire.
Milwaukee Bucks superstar and reigning NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo will be a free agent that summer, and the Knicks might be inclined to hire someone familiar to him. Enter former Bucks head coach Jason Kidd.
The current Los Angeles Lakers assistant interviewed with Knicks brass for a second time last Thursday, and Marc Berman of the New York Post reported “some insiders feel he’s the lone long-shot threat to favorite Tom Thibodeau.” Berman also noted newest Knicks advisor William Wesley is reportedly fond of Kidd.
How does Giannis factor into all this? Well, Kidd coached Antetokounmpo in Milwaukee, and one executive told Berman the 25-year-old “swears” by Kidd. Another said the Knicks will have a “seat at the dinner table” in the Giannis sweepstakes if they hire Kidd.
Then again, Berman gave some indicators Kidd might not be the most suitable fit for Leon Rose as he takes over in his first season as team president. For example, Berman noted how Rose said he wanted a constant line of communication between the front office and coaching staff.
Conversely, the Brooklyn Nets traded Kidd to the Bucks in part because, he requested a spot in Brooklyn’s front office after just one year coaching the team, as Bleacher Report’s Howard Beck reported in 2014. Beck also reported in 2018 Kidd showed obstinance in taking advice from other Bucks staffers and personnel.
It should be pointed out, however, that Thibodeau also had issues of his own with management dating back to his days in Chicago, while also struggling to control a fiery situation when Jimmy Butler demanded a trade from the Timberwolves in 2018. No candidate is totally perfect.
Regardless, it seems the allure of having a possible link to Giannis in the summer of 2021 continues to give Kidd a legitimate chance at landing the Knicks’ head coaching gig.
‘Multiple Teams’ Showed Interest in Gerald Green
Eric Christian Smith/Associated Press
It was initially assumed Gerald Green would not be able to play this season.
Green, who began the year with the Houston Rockets, underwent surgery on a broken left foot last October. While he might have hoped to return to the floor for the playoffs, Green was sent to the Denver Nuggets in the four-team deal that took Robert Covington to Houston. The Nuggets subsequently waived the veteran swingman shortly thereafter.
But the NBA’s long hiatus gave Green plenty of time to recover, and Marc Stein of the New York Times reported “multiple teams” had interest in Green prior to the end of the one-week transaction window on June 30. However, Green has elected to sit out the restart due to family reasons.
Stein also noted the Rockets were believed to be one of the teams interested in Green given a comment Rockets GM Daryl Morey made on Reddit, but Houston cannot re-sign Green for the remainder of this season.
Green will become a free agent in the fall. The Houston native will be 35 next January but had also become a viable floor-spacer and rebounder with the Rockets. It might not be a surprise if the Rockets offer him something along the lines of a one-year deal in free agency.
Justin Patton Contract Details
Sue Ogrocki/Associated Press
Justin Patton has appeared in just nine NBA games in three years. He has tallied just 49 minutes of action. But new Detroit Pistons president of basketball operations Troy Weaver sees value in the youngster.
Patton was the 16th overall pick in the 2017 NBA draft, but he played just one game in his rookie year after suffering a broken bone in his left foot. The former Creighton star then underwent surgery to repair a similar malady in his right foot in September of 2018, sidelining him indefinitely.
But Patton has fought to get back into the league. He played 30 games with the Oklahoma City Thunder’s G League affiliate—the Oklahoma City Blue—this past season, averaging 12.1 points, 7.8 rebounds 3.1 assists and 2.8 blocks, per the G League website.
Weaver and the Pistons will hope Patton can get his NBA career back on track in the Motor City. Perhaps all the hardship will serve Patton well in the future.
All stats obtained via Basketball Reference, unless otherwise noted.