GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- When Kristaps Porzingis next plays for the Knicks, he will do so for his fourth coach.
The 7-foot-3 Latvian unicorn has already played for Derek Fisher, Kurt Rambis and Jeff Hornacek, who was fired Thursday morning.
Whoever is named the next head coach will have to develop a good relationship with Porzingis, the franchise's cornerstone player moving forward.
"We're very confident that we'll find coach that KP will feel, and the rest of his teammates will feel, will be able to help us take that next step," Knicks GM Scott Perry said Thursday at the Knicks facility, adding that they had notified all the players of the firing.
The Knicks still have no timeline on when Porzingis might return to the court and no announcement on how they'll handle his contract situation moving forward.
ACL recoveries typically take 6-to-9 months, but the Knicks could be without Porzingis for up to a year after he went down in early February.
"We've remained in close contact with him and his camp and our therapists and the therapists that he's been working with now," Perry said. "And so I think things are moving along at a good pace right now that everyone's comfortable with. We're going to stay very closely connected to him on that and confident that he will come back a bigger, better, stronger player. So that's the hope and the mindset as he attacks the rehab and we have no reason to think otherwise."
Added Knicks President Steve Mills: "He's in great spirits about how the rehab is going and how he feels about the prospects of coming back so we feel good about that as well."
ESPN analyst Jalen Rose suggested this week on air that Porzingis should sit the entire 2018-19 season if the Knicks are suffering through another bad year because there would be no reason to bring him back.
"I do not anticipate him playing next year, either," Rose said. "He's not going to play next year." Asked about that possibility, Mills said, "We haven't even thought about that."
Porzingis is eligible for a five-year contract extension worth $157 million beginning this summer, and they could opt to structure it the way the Philadelphia 76ers structured Joel Embiid's deal, which included provisions that would allow the 76ers to cut Embiid and save money if he misses significant time due to injuries.
"We're not going to talk about Kristaps' contract situation at this point," Mills said.