Ian Begley, SNY.tv | Twitter |
With the Nets' mutually parting ways with Kenny Atkinson, does his availability impact the Knicks' coaching search?
Atkinson checks several boxes that are important to some in the Knicks organization when it comes to the next head coach:
He can develop young players.
He knows the New York market well (Atkinson grew up on Long Island and was a Knicks assistant coach under Mike D'Antoni).
At the moment, Knicks president Leon Rose is taking time to evaluate the Knicks current scouts, coaches and executives.
If he ultimately decides not to retain interim head coach Mike Miller, opposing executives assume that Tom Thibodeau will get strong consideration for the job. Rose and Thibodeau have known one another for a long time. Thibodeau has a track record of winning and developing players, although the circumstances of his dismissal in Chicago and Minnesota are things that should be taken under consideration.
In addition to Thibodeau, Rose has relationships with several coaches in the NBA and college ranks, including Jeff Van Gundy and Mike Woodson.
That's why one executive monitoring the coaching market says it's premature at the moment to call Thibodeau a lock to be Rose's head coach.
For the reasons noted above, Atkinson's availability should at least give Rose and the Knicks something to think about.
Will the Nets' coaching search impact the Knicks? Simply adding Brooklyn to the list of teams that will likely be looking for a head coach makes an impact on the Knicks. Even if the Knicks and Nets aren't competing for the same coaches, the addition of another team on the coaching market could drive up the prices for coaches.
Obviously, if the Nets pursued Thibodeau or other coaches the Knicks have interest in, it would complicate matters for New York. The Nets have a solid young core and two stars in the waiting, which makes them an attractive job. The Knicks have a ton of cap space, seven picks over the next four years and some talented young players. But, on face value, it seems like the Nets would be a more attractive destination than the Knicks.