With David Fizdale and the Knicks in agreement on a four-year contract that will make the former Grizzlies coach the new head man in New York, Fizdale will now be tasked with filling out his coaching staff.
Michael Wallace of Grizzlies.com recently suggested that Fizdale could recruit some of his old Grizzlies assistants to join him elsewhere, and Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News agrees with that assessment, tweeting that a list of potential Knicks assistants should start with Bob Bender, Keith Smart, and Nick Van Exel.
Meanwhile, Bryan Kalbrosky of HoopsHype attempts to identify a few more candidates to join the Knicks as assistants, including Juwan Howard, who spent plenty of time with Fizdale in Miami.
Here are a few more items related to the Knicks’ decision to hire Fizdale:
- An NBA source tells Marc Berman of The New York Post that the Knicks are prepared to open cap room this summer in the event that LeBron James shows any interest in heading to New York. While Fizdale has a good relationship with James and it may technically be possible for the Knicks to create cap space, that scenario is an extreme long shot. As Mitch Lawrence of Forbes writes, the Knicks hope Fizdale’s popularity among NBA players with help them in free agency, but they’re probably looking ahead at least to the 2019 market.
- Before he accepted a four-year offer from the Knicks, Fizdale turned down a four-year offer from the Suns to become their new head coach, tweets Michael Scotto of The Athletic.
- There has been no shortage of praise for the Knicks’ decision to go with Fizdale. As Marc Berman of The New York Post relays, ESPN analyst Chauncey Billups referred to Fizdale as the “best coach on the market,” while Jalen Rose called him the “right fit” for the Knicks. Mike Vaccaro of The New York Post agrees that Fizdale is the right man for the job, and Enes Kanter told Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic that he likes the ex-Grizzlies coach “a lot.”
- Still, not everyone is bullish on the Knicks’ hire. Dan Feldman of NBC Sports believes the optimism on Fizdale is misplaced, arguing that there are still too many issues within the Knicks’ organization to expect success from any new head coach.
- Ian Begley of ESPN.com takes a look at the next steps for Fizdale and the Knicks as they attempt to turn the page on years of dysfunction.