The fact that Jeff Hornacek's name is not Kurt Rambis immediately makes his expected hiring as the Knicks' next head coach an automatic victory for Phil Jackson and Co. in many respects.
Still, as Hornacek steps up to the plate and New York moves on from the drama over the choice itself, it's worth pondering what kind of impact his expected hiring will have on the team's summer plans.
Multiple reports have suggested the Knicks won't be as married to the triangle under Hornacek as initially thought. This may provide some flexibility with regard to which players they subsequently target during free agency. But it's worth noting that Hornacek favored a fast-paced and sometimes free spirited offense with the Suns.
He often rolled lineups that featured not just two point guards at a time, but sometimes three. Former Knick Channing Frye (and other similar players) were also slotted at the center position relatively often as well.
What does all this mean for the Knicks? For starters, Jerian Grant playing second-fiddle to Jose Calderon isn't going to cut it.
Over the course of his tenure in New York, the team has desperately wanted Calderon to push the pace a bit more. He hasn't been up for the challenge thus far. Under Hornacek, going full speed would only seem to be an even more daunting (and/or crucial) task. This should make Calderon an all the more likely (if he weren't already) candidate to be traded, or cut by utilizing the stretch provision.
Given Calderon's inability to thrive and Hornacek's preferences, it would be in their best interests to free themselves of his roster spot and cap hold.
With that in mind, targeting more uptempo and younger floor generals should be a priority for the Knicks. Hornacek's hiring would be a very positive development for Grant, but the team needs more. They'll be on the lookout for guards to supplement and/or pair alongside him. This not only makes sense under Hornacek, but also somewhat falls in line with what the team was previously planning already.
Moving Calderon and/or targeting quality guards via free agency is one way to go. Exploring and scouring the trade market for a potential fit or two is another. There's no denying that Robin Lopez soared towards the end of this past season, even arguably living up to Jackson's relatively steep investment. But Hornacek's style may make the big man somewhat expendable. Lopez could serve as valuable trade bait to help the Knicks get who they want and need.
Heading into next season, the Knicks could opt to roll out Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis as their four/five combination much more often as well.
Hornacek's potential selection comes with plenty of positives, but the Knicks' standing as more desirable to potential free agents isn't necessarily one of them. His name isn't one that jumps off the page, especially as a coach. Still, throughout his tenure as Knicks president, Jackson has thus far strayed away from making the sometimes unnecessarily big splashes. But perhaps the decision not to go with Rambis is a big enough splash as it is.
It'll be interesting to see if desirable guards are more inclined to give the Knicks consideration this summer after what Hornacek achieved with his young talent in Phoenix.