Tom Thibodeau will get his first crack at the Knicks’ roster in September.
After several weeks of negotiations, the NBA and NBPA have agreed to allow the eight non-bubble teams, including the New York Knicks, to conduct voluntary group workouts in their home markets beginning in September.
A joint statement announcing the framework of the return-to-workouts was released by the league and player’s association on Tuesday after The Athletic first broke the news.
During group training activities, teams will be allowed to conduct practices, skill or conditioning sessions and intra-squad scrimmages, according to the statement.
Clubs will be responsible for creating a “campus-like environment” using team facilities in their home cities with private living accommodations provided for participating players, who will be required to remain on campus.
The Knicks have not played in an organized setting since March 11 when they won in overtime over the Atlanta Hawks.
Since that date, the organization has remained busy off the court under new president Leon Rose, who has bolstered his front office with several scouting, strategy, and analytics hires. The Knicks also conducted an exhaustive coaching search during the coronavirus shutdown and landed on front-runner Tom Thibodeau to replace interim coach Mike Miller.
This will be the first opportunity for Thibodeau, known for his coaching intensity, to work with his newly-inherited players.
When will the Knicks begin team workouts?
The workout program for the teams nicknamed the “Delete 8” will be split into two phases: from September 14-20, daily covid-19 testing and individual workouts will take place; starting September 21, group activities will be allowed until October 6.
Similar to the NBA’s bubble in Orlando, exhaustive safety and health protocols will be implemented.
The Knicks have reportedly been reluctant to participate in a second bubble environment due to the large number of players on their roster who are set to become free agents, as many are on non-guaranteed deals or team options that are unlikely to be exercised.
However, the current plan seems as if it should be acceptable to them. They won’t be required to travel and the eight non-restart teams will be allowed to utilize their G-League affiliates to fill out workout groups. Up to five players from the developmental league can be called up to work with the team.
This will give an opportunity for recent addition Jared Harper to shine, along with players such as Kenny Wooten and Lamar Peters.
The 2020 NBA Draft is not scheduled until October 16, so future Knicks draft picks will have to wait to be introduced to their new coach until a later date.
Besides the Knicks, the Warriors, Timberwolves, Pistons, Hawks, Cavaliers, Bulls, and Hornets are all set to return to team activities in September.