With the season being in the middle of a suspension that is most likely to continue into April, the New York Knicks must do some soul-searching in order to gain a clear vision for the future.
Commissioner Adam Silver suspended all NBA league play and activities on the night of Mar. 11, following the news that Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for the coronavirus. That very same night, the New York Knicks defeated the Atlanta Hawks by a score of 136-131.
The Knicks would have a record of 21-45, and with 16 games remaining in the season, it was again another lost season in the books.
Leon Rose, who is now the president of team, hadn’t even held the position for ten games before the suspension became official. This suspension may be a blessing in disguise for Rose, as he has time to answer some of the burning questions the organization must face.
The first being interim head coach Mike Miller.
Miller, who became interim coach after the firing of David Fizdale in early December, has done a fairly solid job with the team since taking over. With a record of 17-27, the Knicks have seen improved play from players like RJ Barrett, Mitchell Robinson, and Julius Randle under Miller.
Add that to the fact that Miller has been a true professional during this whirlwind of a season that includes the firing of Fizdale, the firing of Mills, Steve Stoute’s First Take interview, and the Spike Lee fiasco, and he should be praised for holding his ground at all times.
Rose will have to figure out whether or not he wants to keep Miller as the team’s head coach.
Though Miller has tried to win each game to the best of his ability, Rose might feel like there are more suitable options for the job. Some candidates for the potential vacancy include names such as Tom Thibodeau, Mark Jackson, and Kenny Atkinson.
There’s also a chance that Rose throws a curveball and keeps Miller as coach.
According to Ian Begley of SNY, Rose has been pleased with the job that Miller has done this season.
"“Rose had said during that time that he’d been impressed by the way Miller handled the team and respected the job he’d done since taking over in early December, per SNY sources.”"
Secondly, Rose is gonna have to figure out who he wants to select in the 2020 NBA Draft.
It’s no secret that this year’s draft class isn’t the most stargazing, but there are still quality players that can add value to the Knicks.
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Will the organization lean towards drafting a point guard? This draft class does have notable names at the point guard position. LaMelo Ball, who is a fanbase favorite, is very likely to go top-3 in the draft.
Though his father may cause some distraction in the media, there is no denying whatsoever that Ball is the best point guard prospect in this year’s draft class. However, depending on how the ping-pong balls fall on draft lottery night, the Knicks must be ready no matter where they fall.
Other intriguing prospects include Killian Hayes, Tyrese Haliburton, and Cole Anthony at the point guard position.
Though the three prospects each have something to offer, they aren’t as promising on the court like Ball. As such, the Knicks might even go the route of taking the best player available regardless of position.
Lastly, will Rose keep Scott Perry as general manager? Perry, who was hired in 2017, has received some criticism due to the fact the signings who were acquired last offseason didn’t mix well this season. However, Perry has done a good job when it comes to drafting and acquiring young talent.
Barrett and Robinson are the two best picks that were under Perry. Allonzo Trier, Ignas Brazdeikis, and Kenny Wooten have shown promise that they can play in the league, as well. The only player who hasn’t seemed to really put it together is Kevin Knox.
Rose and Perry do have a past relationship during Rose’s time as a CAA agent, which can aid Perry in keeping his job as general manager.
The New York Knicks aren’t in an impossible situation, but there are still questions that need to be answered in order to move in the right direction.
Hopefully Rose has already begun the soul-searching.