Coach Tom Thibodeau Reveals Knicks Plans for 2021 NBA Draft [WATCH]

Tom Thibodeau

Getty Head coach Tom Thibodeau of the New York Knicks looks on against the Miami Heat on February 9.

Even following their first playoff season in eight years, the New York Knicks still walk into the 2021 NBA Draft as a team to watch.

They have both their own first-round pick at 19th overall, and the Dallas Mavericks at 21st overall, by way of the infamous Kristaps Porzingis deal in 2019.

The point guard position and help along the wing highlight the Knicks’ most glaring needs after coming up short in their first-round series against the Atlanta Hawks in just five games.

With the NBA Draft Combine underway in Chicago, all of Leon Rose, Scott Perry, and Tom Thibodeau are all present, evaluating and meeting with prospects.

But it was the head coach who let on what the New York Knicks are looking for in this year’s draft class.

New York’s Plan of Attack

Tom Thibodeau, fresh off of his first season at head coach for the New York Knicks, was asked (via @krispursiainen on Twitter) during the ESPN broadcast on Friday as to whether or they’ll prioritize playmaking in the 2021 NBA Draft.

His response was largely vague:

It’s something that we’ve talked about going into the season. Obviously we wanted to build our foundation starting with our defense, and then of course, adding to our shooting and our offense. We’re always looking to add that shooting, and it’s not just the shooting the three, but it’s going off the dribble as well.

Still, it’s safe to say fans can expect new faces in the point guard rotation next year with all of Derrick Rose, Elfrid Payton, and Frank Ntilikina headed for free agency.

But when asked if any players at the combine stood out to the Knicks, Thibodeau did mention one position of need:

You have to be ready for all the possibilities, whether you move up, or back, or trade out…We’re looking for wings and guys who can shoot. So there’s a number of guys that we think are gonna be good pros. There’s a lot of value here.

So who makes sense for New York at picks 19 and 21?

What the Latest Mock Drafts are Saying

Mock drafts are rarely reliable for anything more than identifying which players could be available to a certain team in a certain range.

Still, even if for that reason and that reason only, keeping tabs on them isn’t the worst idea.

In his latest mock draft for The Ringer, Kevin O’Connor has the New York Knicks selecting James Bouknight at 19th, and Cameron Thomas at 21st overall.

ESPN’s Jonathan Givony has them selecting Jared Butler at 19th and Sharife Cooper at 21st in his latest.

And for CBS Sports, Kyle Boone has New York taking big man Isaiah Jackson at 19th, and point guard Tre Mann at 21st.

As mentioned, it’s rare to find two mock drafts with the exact same predictions as far as a month out from the NBA Draft.

But it’s safe to say any of the aforementioned players are in play for the New York Knicks.

READ NEXT: Ex-Knicks Head Coach Sounds Off on Miserable New York Tenure

Comment Here
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x