Knicks' Thibodeau discusses Barrett: 'There's a lot of work to be done'
Icon Sportswire / Getty

The New York Knicks convened Wednesday for their first full practice under Tom Thibodeau. The new head coach said his initial impression of RJ Barrett has been strong, but he has a ways to go.

"It's been great," Thibodeau told reporters. "Obviously, there's a lot of work to be done. These are the initial steps."

Thibodeau has been known in each of his NBA coaching stops for riding players hard in practices and games - particularly younger wings. Both Jimmy Butler and Andrew Wiggins hit career highs in minutes during the first few seasons of their respective careers under Thibodeau.

It would be a stretch to say Barrett had a disappointing rookie season for the Knicks, but the 20-year-old Canadian needs to improve his shooting efficiency - including his free-throw percentage (61.4%). Thibodeau said this offseason will be important.

"The offseason is critical for any young player," the coach added. "So obviously, you can get going on the development piece, which I think is critical. That holds true for all our players. But he's been great, eager, he's working hard. If he does that day after day, he will improve quite a bit."

The Knicks are one of the NBA's "Delete Eight" teams currently gathering for voluntary workouts. Thibodeau said some players weren't comfortable with full-contact workouts yet, but that the experience has been helpful.

"That's been a challenge ... I don't want to get into the specifics because this is all voluntary, but we've had a great turnout thus far," he said. "There was Phase 1 where we weren't in a hotel, and we had terrific turnout for that. This next phase, obviously where there's contact involved, some guys weren't totally comfortable with that, and we totally understood that part of it. But they've also come in prior to that and spent quite a bit of time, which has been very beneficial for me."

Comments
Knicks' Thibodeau discusses Barrett: 'There's a lot of work to be done'
  Got something to say? Leave a comment below!
Daily Newsletter
Get the latest trending sports news daily in your inbox