Tom Thibodeau on Knicks Trade Rumors: I Have a Strong Bias Towards Good Players

Blake SchusterSenior Analyst IIMarch 11, 2021

New York Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau talks to his team during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Miami Heat, Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2021, in Miami. (AP Photo/Marta Lavandier)
Marta Lavandier/Associated Press

New York Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau isn't in a hurry to make any trades ahead of the March 25 deadline, but he's not opposed to the idea, either. The coach just wants to make sure they're building with the right players moving forward.

And he has a pretty simple definition for who the right guys are.

"I have a strong bias towards good players," Thibodeau told reporters Wednesday. "I know they're looking at all the possibilities. If something makes sense for us we'll do it. If not I love the team that we have. I love the guys that we have on the team."

The Knicks return from the All-Star break at 19-18 and holding onto the No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference thanks to a strong start to the year by forward Julius Randle.

The quick development of second-year wing RJ Barrett (16.5 points per game) and rookie Immanuel Quickley (12.2 points per game) has kept the team afloat in the playoff picture this year, but the Knicks don't appear ready to contend just yet. 

Fellow rookie Obi Toppin has yet to establish himself in the league while bigs Mitchell Robinson and Taj Gibson remain injured.

That's not to say New York isn't interested in making moves. The club acquired point guard Derrick Rose earlier this season to add some veteran depth to the backcourt for Dennis Smith Jr. and a second-round pick in 2021.

The Knicks should be able to answer any lingering questions about their current team in the near future. The upcoming schedule features matchups with multiple contenders in the East including the Milwaukee Bucks, Brooklyn Nets and Philadelphia 76ers before the deadline. 

How much they're willing to add by then remains to be seen. Even more unclear is what New York would be willing to part with.