4. Pressing questions for Tom Thibodeau: How patient will he be?
Too many coaches have signed multi-year contracts to coach the Knicks, only to end up collecting the majority of their paychecks from home. David Fizdale was just fired 22 games into the second season of his five-year deal.
James Dolan is a lot of things, but cheap is not one of them. He has continued to show a willingness to pay top dollar to cover up past mistakes. Thibodeau is the latest example of that.
Signed to a five-year deal, the former Bulls and Timberwolves coach has plenty of security in turning around a team that hasn’t sniffed the playoffs in seven years. However, it would seem the Knicks will be looking for results similar to what he showed at past stops where he was leading a playoff team within a few seasons on the job.
Of course, roster composition will have the most to say about how quickly Thibodeau can garner results on the court.
But a pressing question all Knicks fans are anxious to see answered is how much Thibodeau prioritizes marginal improvement in terms of wins versus developing the young core players, perhaps at the expense of wins in the early going.
If the Knicks sign a group of veterans to fill out the lineup around the young core, that is fine. It’s expected. But if the tradition continues of playing veteran players over the youth, it won’t be a good early look for the new head coach. Unless those veteran players are All-Stars, that is.