Jonathan Macri had an interesting bit:
If you didn’t groan (or grunt, in the spirit of the Knicks new head coach) after seeing the title of this article, you’re a kinder soul than most.
Of all the knocks on Tom Thibodeau – that he’s relentless with practices (not true), that he buries his young players (it depends), or that he’s lost his defensive edge (remains to be seen) – the one that can’t really be denied is his penchant for relying on those he’s comfortable with.
In Minnesota, President of Basketball Operations Thibs went out and acquired former Bulls Jimmy Butler, Taj Gibson, Luol Deng, Derrick Rose and Aaron Brooks for coach Thibs to inject into his rotation. In just two-and-a-half years on the job, five former players has to be considered a lot.
In New York, Thibodeau won’t be wearing both hats, but it’s foolish to assume he won’t have some input on the roster, especially with more than half of the spots potentially up for grabs.
With that in mind, let’s look at the top five former Thibodeau players who could wind up wearing orange and blue, the likelihood each becomes a Knick, and whether it would be a good idea or not.
(One name you won’t see here: Jimmy Butler. The Heat are surely gearing up for a run at Giannis, not at the expense of Butler, but to pair them up. If three times ends up being the charm for Thibs and Jimmy Buckets, it won’t be for some time from now)
Click the article to see the reasoning for his picks, but it boils down to:
5. Dario Saric (under 10% chance)
4. Jeff Teague (15-20%)
3. Zach LaVine (25%)
2. Taj Gibson (50%)
1. DJ Augustin (better than 50%)
As Macri notes, Augustin might not be the ideal move in terms of blocking other players, but since the Knicks likely will be trying to win, he makes some sense as a stopgap.