Tom Thibodeau ‘Wasn’t On Board’ with Knicks Trade for Top-10 Pick: Report

Cam Reddish

Getty New York Knicks wings Cam Reddish and RJ Barrett embracing along the sideline during a January 15 game against the Atlanta Hawks.

Head coach Tom Thibodeau has been at the center of the New York Knicks drop-off 2021-2022 campaign, both on and off the floor, according to recent reports.

After leading the team to its first playoff berth in over seven years, the reigning Coach of the Year has made questionable decision after questionable decision this year, leading to a failed second consecutive postseason push.

Now 31-42 with only nine games remaining, the Knicks are all but eliminated from the Eastern Conference playoffs.

But there was a time when they may have not been the goal, at least not for the New York front office brass.

As Yaron Weitzman of Fox Sports is reporting, the team’s direction was a hot-button issue between Thibodeau and those at the top of the franchise:

Brock Aller, officially the team’s “Vice President, Basketball & Strategic Planning,” wanted the Knicks to rebuild. Thibodeau, meanwhile, was clamoring for the team to go after veterans such as Gordon Hayward and Marcus Morris Sr. At times, according to sources (and as I’ve previously reported), the confrontations grew heated, with Thibodeau mocking Aller by referring to him as “Hinkie.”

As the aforementioned report implies, it’s led to dysfunction and hesitancy surrounding the team’s personnel decisions.

Even when it came to New York acquiring former top-10 pick and RJ Barrett‘s former Duke teammate, Cam Reddish.

Thibodeau Didn’t Want Reddish

In that same reporting for Fox Sports, Yaron Weitzman made sure to note Tom Thibodeau’s reluctance to acquire young talent, and that includes not being “on board” with the Cam Reddish trade:

As has been reported elsewhere, Thibodeau, according to multiple league sources, made clear to the front office before the deal that he wasn’t on board with the team trading for Reddish. Rose isn’t required to listen to Thibodeau, but he does need to make sure his head coach doesn’t get in the way of the front office’s roster-building efforts.

For the price of Kevin Knox and a future first-round pick, it’s hard to see the downside in a play for such a young player with clear upside.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to last, with his initial stint with the team coming to an end after just 15 games.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that due to a shoulder injury Reddish suffered in a recent win over the Sacramento Kings, he’ll be sidelined for the remainder of the season.

But under contract through next season, Cam Reddish could always return to the New York Knicks for another year.

Although undeniably to the dismay of his head coach.

Reddish Extension Unlikely

Given that he’s going into the last year of his rookie deal, Cam Reddish will be extension eligible this summer.

But even prior to his injury, the chances of the New York Knicks offering him one were deemed low.

Trust that the likelihood has only decreased, if anything, given the news of his season-ending injury.

Although the 21-year old did show flashes, and because of injuries elsewhere on the roster, was just carving out a role for himself before getting hurt against Sacramento.

When speaking with Michael Scotto of Hoops Hype on ThursdayStefan Bondy of the New York Daily News implied that while New York isn’t ruling out a future with Reddish, they’re not keen on offering him an extension this summer:

I think they’re open to trading him. They don’t want to trade him because they just gave up a first-round pick for him. If they get anything less than a first-round pick back for him, that would symbolize the trade was a big mistake already. I don’t think they want to make that concession. They want to give Cam Reddish another year. He’s under contract for next season. They don’t have to give him an extension. I don’t think they will based on what they’ve seen from him so far.

And that was before news broke of his season-ending injury.

Trust that head coach Tom Thibodeau’s stance likely won’t alter in regards to Cam Reddish though, making a future where both are with the New York Knicks next season increasingly unlikely.

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