The firing of Derek Fisher may not be the last major move the Knicks make before the February 18th trade deadline, writes Ian Begley of ESPN.com. League sources told Begley that members of the New York front office talked to the Hawks last month about point guards Jeff Teague and Dennis Schröder, but little progress was made because Atlanta didn’t like what the Knicks had to offer. That advances earlier dispatches about the Knicks and Teague, but the inclusion of Schröder is a previously unreported part of the story. Begley also hears that the Knicks have been keeping an eye on Pistons reserve point guard Brandon Jennings. With New York dropping nine of its last 10 games and in danger of sliding out of the Eastern Conference playoff race, team president Phil Jackson hopes to shake up the roster. Two players almost certain to stay put are Carmelo Anthony and rookie Kristaps Porzingis. “I think it is a known fact that Carmelo has a no-trade [clause],” Jackson said. “And we like Kris. Everybody likes Kris. There’s not too many people that ever would say that I would trade [Kristaps].”
There’s more from a news-filled day in New York:
- Ex-Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau, who served eight seasons as an assistant in New York, makes no secret of how badly he wants the Knicks job, according to Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv. Thibodeau “would walk here” to coach the Knicks, a source told Zagoria, echoing what Ian O’Connor of ESPNNewYork.com heard earlier. Jackson was non-committal about Thibodeau, saying, “I respect Tom as a coach, he’s a really good coach. But I’m not out soliciting coaches right now.”
- A lack of development and a feeling of stagnation doomed Fisher, writes Bobby Marks of The Vertical on Yahoo Sports. At 23-31, the Knicks have already surpassed their 17-win season of a year ago, but the front office believed the team wasn’t progressing as it should. Marks expects Jackson to pick a coach from his pool of former players and current assistants, but notes Luke Walton is the only member of that group to have success as a head coach.
- The pairing of Fisher and Jackson never had a chance to work, writes Sean Deveney of The Sporting News. He contends Jackson didn’t really believe in Fisher as a head coach, and Fisher, who moved straight to the job from the playing floor, was never committed to coaching. The Knicks were counting on hiring Steve Kerr in 2014, Deveney recalls, believing that Stan Van Gundy would wind up in Golden State. Fisher became a fallback plan when that unraveled.