4. Oversee the growth and development of young players
As the New York Knicks rebuild, they have accumulated young players to become the faces of this transition. Through high draft picks and trades, their roster features more talent with five or fewer years of experience than seasoned veterans, as Courtney Lee, Lance Thomas, Joakim Noah and Enes Kanter are the only ones with more than half a decade of NBA time.
In the 2018 offseason, the Knicks acquired another top-10 talent, Kevin Knox, and snagged Mitchell Robinson in the second round, someone who had the chance to go in the lottery if he opted for collegiate basketball.
Along with the signing of 23-year-old Mario Hezonja and sophomore Frank Ntilikina, David Fizdale has plenty of young talent to work with and develop. If he can take any of them to another level in 2018-19, it will be a success and point the team in a positive direction.
It starts with creating a rapport with these players, much like Kristaps Porzingis. This can happen in the offseason, with September’s training camp and the preseason as opportunities to work on the court closely for the first time.
Once the regular season arrives, there will be growing pains, especially for players as young as Knox (19), Ntilikina (20) and Robinson (20). How he works with them, and the aforementioned talents, will be a point of emphasis in the time Porzingis misses and how they lead a group that’s not expected to do much.
Any development, positive or negative, will fall on Fizdale in 2018-19. Can he spearhead the youthful direction?