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Knicks: Insider Offers Insight Into Tom Thibodeau’s Plans for Future

Getty Head coach Tom Thibodeau of the New York Knicks.

The New York Knicks sit fifth in the Eastern Conference standings. That position would tie their highest finish of the Tom Thibodeau era if it stands.

That’s notable as the revered head coach heads into the final year of his contract.

“As is the case with any coach whose contract situation is in question, the outcome of the postseason will surely matter when it comes to what comes next,” The Athletic’s Sam Amick wrote on March 22. “But league sources say he hopes to secure his future with the Knicks when both sides plan to revisit the topic this summer.”

Amick notes that Thibodeau’s current contract is estimated to be worth $7 million annually. The deal runs through the 2024 25 season.

“At this rate, the Knicks might wind up hoping they’d decided to get something done with Thibodeau before the recent explosion of coaching salaries,” Amick wrote. “All signs point to a well-deserved raise likely coming his way.”

Amick notes Thibodeau’s strong rapport with players like Jalen Brunson and Donte DiVincenzo.

The Knicks are among the top teams in the conference over the last two seasons. That only bolsters Thibodeu’s argument for that raise.

Knicks Trending in Right Direction Under Tom Thibodeau

Amick points to the massive contracts signed by Monty Williams with the Detroit Pistons (six years, $78.5 million) and Doc Rivers with the Milwaukee Bucks (three-plus seasons, $40 million) among others as a sign of the upward trend in coaching salaries.

The Knicks have the 12th-best winning percentage in the NBA since Thibodeau took over in 2020-21, per Stathead. That is the fifth-best mark in the Eastern Conference in that span.

They have the ninth-best winning percentage over the last two seasons, still fifth in the East.

Perhaps the most encouraging sign is the Knicks are tied with the Brooklyn Nets with the 13th-most postseason wins since Thibodeau’s arrival. But they are tied with the Phoenix Suns and Golden State Warriors with the sixth-most playoff wins over the last two campaigns.

The Knicks have the eighth-easiest remaining strength of schedule, per Tankathon entering play on March 22.

That could set them up for a strong finish and Thibodeau for an even bigger payday.

Knicks to Be Without 3 Stars vs. Nets

Injuries have complicated matters for the Knicks all season, and that won’t change down the stretch. OG Anunoby, Julius Randle, and Mitchell Robinson will all miss their next outing, per the New York Post’s Stefan Bondy on March 22.

Anunoby has suited up in just three of the last 23 games. He has missed the last two straight as he navigates an elbow injury.

Randle has missed the last 23 games as he works his way back from a shoulder injury.

Robinson has not played since early December, missing the last 28 games with an ankle injury. He was initially ruled out for the season. Yet Robinson seems closer to playing than Randle amid reports he could return before the 2023-24 campaign comes to a close.

“Robinson’s return might not be imminent, it now appears highly likely he’ll be back before the end of the regular season,” SNY.com’s Danny Abriano wrote on March 21. “When/if Robinson returns, the expectation is that he will come off the bench, with [Isaiah] Hartenstein remaining in a starting role.”

It would be a boon for the Knicks to get all three players back before the postseason. But even getting just one could go a long way.

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New York Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau is coming up on the final year of his contract and could have big plans for the future.