After a report last week suggested that Tom Thibodeau topped the Knicks‘ wish list in their head coaching search, multiple updates since then have reiterated that Thibodeau looks like the frontrunner for the job.
Sources tell Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News that Thibodeau is the “heavy favorite” to become the Knicks’ next head coach. Bondy cautions that other candidates – including Mike Miller, Kenny Atkinson, and perhaps even John Calipari – are in play, but says there’s a belief that the position is Thibodeau’s to lose. A source tells The Daily News that Thibodeau is confident enough about his chances that he has already made calls about assembling a staff.
Citing Thibodeau’s longstanding relationship with new Knicks president of basketball operations Leon Rose, Marc Berman of The New York Post also says there’s an “excellent chance” that the team will zero in on Thibodeau when its head coaching search officially gets underway.
Additionally, Berman hears from sources that members of Thibodeau’s past Bulls and Timberwolves staffs will likely be interested in joining him in New York if he’s hired by the Knicks. Berman specifically cites Andy Greer, Larry Greer, and Dice Yoshimoto as coaches Thibodeau might look to bring with him if given the opportunity.
The Knicks’ search hasn’t begun in earnest yet, but as Berman points out, there’s a good chance that the club won’t part of a resumed NBA season — reports last week indicated that the league favors a 20-team or 22-team restart. If the NBA officially moves forward with a plan that excludes the Knicks, there would be little reason for the franchise to delay its head coaching search until after the resumption of the season.