Brief update on the Knicks’ coaching staff: several teams have expressed interest in Knicks player development coach Royal Ivey, who is currently under contract with New York.
The Knicks haven’t made a decision yet on Ivey, but the teams who are interested in Ivey believe that it is likely that New York would allow him out of his contract to pursue other opportunities.
Last year, at least one team expressed interest in hiring Ivey to a position on the front of the bench, but the Knicks denied the club permission to speak with Ivey, a Queens native who is close with Nets star Kevin Durant. The Knicks denied the opportunity for Ivey to interview prior to Durant’s free agency.
The club has lagged in player development for much of the past two decades and there are plans to add more coaches strictly in development roles. It’s possible that Ivey could remain in New York on the development staff, but the teams who have interest in Ivey are optimistic that he will be able to pursue other opportunities.
The Knicks have added five assistant coaches to Tom Thibodeau’s staff. There were initial plans to add a sixth assistant, but it is unclear at the moment if New York will still hire another assistant. If they do, it’s possible that Ivey or one of the other assistant coaches under David Fizdale would be given that role. But it’s unlikely that a coach who was on the front of Fizdale’s bench would accept a role on the back of the bench, which is where the sixth assistant would be.
Under Leon Rose, the Knicks have devoted significant resources to Thibodeau’s assistants and the development staff. It’s a change from the previous regime, when opposing coaches noted how small the Knicks’ development staff for Fizdale was. It’s unclear why the club didn’t devote more resources to the development staff, but, again, that’s changed under Rose.
The Knicks have hired Kentucky assistant Kenny Payne and Utah assistant Johnnie Bryant to their staff, luring both coaches from coveted coaching positions to come to New York.
It makes sense for the Knicks to devote resources to assistant coaches and development staff, given the age of the roster. New York had one of the youngest rosters in the NBA last season and will likely be one of the youngest teams in the league next season after adding their picks from the 2020 draft to the roster.