NBA Rumors: Latest on Knicks' Coaching Search, Cavaliers and More

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxFeatured ColumnistJune 30, 2020

Jason Kidd
Jason KiddAssociated Press

The last time the New York Knicks made the postseason was in the 2012-13 season. While they made the playoffs the two previous years as well, the Knicks weren't exactly a model of consistency even then.

Recently, the Knicks have simply been trying to gain traction in the right direction, and finding the right head coach has been a part of that. The search is on yet again, with new team president Leon Rose leading the search.

The good news, according to Marc Berman of the New York Post, is that Rose is surrounding himself with knowledgeable advisors and has the full financial support of owner James Dolan.

"Leon doesn't think he's the smartest person in the room," one executive said, per Berman. "He's surrounding himself with smart people."

Rose and the Knicks have cast a wide net in their search for a new coach, with current Los Angeles Lakers assistant Jason Kidd being the latest—and according to Howie Kussoy of the New York Post, the 11th—candidate.

Golden State Warriors associate head coach Mike Brown is also a recent addition to the Knicks' wish list.

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What's interesting about Rose's process is that he might be using the interview process to do more than fill the top vacancy. According to SNY's Ian Begley, the Knicks will consider some of their head-coaching candidates for other positions.

As Begley pointed out, this could mean that interim coach Mike Miller stays on in a different capacity.

"People in the organization would like to see Miller offered an assistant's job or another role with the Knicks next year if he isn't brought back as head coach," he said.

Once New York has the right coach in place, it can focus on building a roster capable of returning the Knicks to the postseason.

    

Cavaliers Making Moves, Sorting Through Draft Options

Anthony Edwards
Anthony EdwardsJeff Roberson/Associated Press

The Cleveland Cavaliers have been less of a mess in recent years than the Knicks, but that's due almost exclusively to the presence of LeBron James. When James left before the 2018-19 season, the Cavaliers went from being a playoff contender to an afterthought. They currently hold an Eastern Conference-worst 19-46 record.

Unlike the Knicks, though, the Cavaliers may have their head coach in place. J.B. Bickerstaff was named head coach following the resignation of John Beilein in February. By March, Cleveland and Bickerstaff had agreed to a multiyear deal.

For Cleveland, the coming months will be all about improving the roster—and the Cavaliers made a couple of early moves just this week. According to Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com, the Cavs have agreed to a two-year deal with free agent Jordan Bell and converted the two-way contract of Dean Wade into a multiyear deal.

According to Fedor, however, Cleveland has not yet come to a consensus on which prospect belongs at the top of its draft board. Members of the front office appear split between National Basketball League standout LaMelo Ball, Georgia's Anthony Edwards and Memphis' James Wiseman.

"At least one member of the front office views Ball as the top player in the class. But others view Georgia's Edwards as the better prospect. Another remains intrigued by James Wiseman's upside and measurables," Fedor wrote.

The reality is that Cleveland might be happy to land any of the three, making the Cavaliers a bit of a wild card entering the draft.

     

Teams Aren't Sold on Owning a Lottery Pick

The Cavaliers aren't the only ones uncertain about the top of the 2020 draft. According to ESPN's Jonathan Givony, there isn't a consensus top prospect and some teams may be eager to trade down because of that fact.

"With no consensus regarding who the best prospects are, dropping out of the top three appears less costly this year," Givony wrote. "Several NBA executives have told me they would welcome it because of the question marks surrounding the top talents and the cost savings the rookie scale would provide."

The fact that there is no "sure thing" in this draft class—a la Zion Williamson last year—means that at least some would prefer not to take risks in the lottery range. As Givony explained, the financial risk falls off significantly as teams move down the board.

"Under current projections, the No. 1 pick in the 2020 draft would cost nearly $47 million over four years, even before tax considerations for a team like Golden State, a considerable investment in this uncertain environment," he wrote. "By contrast, the No. 5 pick would cost $29 million."

However, with three months' worth of digging into prospects left to be done, this line of thinking could change. If and when teams are able to conduct in-person predraft visits, a consensus top pick order may emerge.

The more comfortable teams get with the top draft prospects, the less likely they're likely to be to move down.

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