Kevin KnoxKathy Willens/Associated Press
When the New York Knicks return to the floor in the 2020-21 NBA season, a fresh face will be leading the team. Barring a surprise decision to retain interim coach Mike Miller, that much was understood since the Knicks fired David Fizdale in December.
But the roster may be headed for a dramatic shift too.
According to Shams Charania of Stadium, young forward Kevin Knox may find himself on the market this offseason.
“Kevin Knox, for whatever reason, has yet to gain traction within the Knicks,” Charania said. “His future could very well be up in the air going into next year. It’ll be interesting to see if they do dangle him in trade talks and how far that does go.”
Selected with the No. 9 overall pick in the 2018 draft, Knox averaged 12.8 points and 4.5 rebounds as a rookie. However, he shifted from a usual starter to a reserve role in 2019-20, mustering only 17.9 minutes and 6.4 points per game.
In both seasons, though, he has struggled to score efficiently. He’s shooting an unremarkable 33.7 percent from three-point range and a dismal 36.7 percent overall.
For a player whose primary appeal is offense, that’s not good.
Marc Berman of the New York Post previously reported both Fizdale and Miller thought Knox had a tendency to play soft. That perception, if true, affected Knox’s diminished playing time. After all, it’s not like the Knicks were fighting for a playoff spot and couldn’t afford to run out young players.
By no means is Knox a lost cause, considering he only turns 21 in August with two years remaining on his contract.
However, as New York undergoes a change in leadership—a head coach and new president Leon Rose—it’s the perfect time to reassess long-term plans for the roster. They might want to further evaluate Knox in 2020-21, but his future is unclear at best.
First, the Knicks need to hire a coach.
Tom ThibodeauStacy Bengs/Associated Press
“The thought around the league is still that this is Tom Thibodeau’s job to lose,” Charania said.
Rose worked as an agent before becoming the Knicks president. He previously represented Thibodeau, who has reached the playoffs in six of his eight seasons as a head coach.
Other options are former Brooklyn Nets coach Kenny Atkinson, Golden State Warriors assistant Mike Brown, Los Angeles Lakers assistant Jason Kidd and former Knicks coach Mike Woodson. Miller, the interim to end 2019-20, is expected to receive an interview, per Charania and Mike Vorkunov at The Athletic.
Whether it’s Thibodeau or someone else, the coach will inherit a roster set to build around 20-year-old guard RJ Barrett and 22-year-old center Mitchell Robinson.
But the long-term decisions involving Knox and versatile forward Julius Randle will quickly become a top priority.
Follow Bleacher Report writer David Kenyon on Twitter @Kenyon19_BR.