The New York Knicks might be announcing its new head coach very shortly. As soon as this week, even.
According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, the Knicks have finished interviewing potential candidates and a final decision from a long list of candidates is looming.
In total, there have been 11 candidates that have met with Knicks president Steve Mills and general manager Scott Perry:
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- David Fizdale: Former Memphis Grizzlies head coach
- David Blatt: Former Cleveland Cavaliers head coach
- Mike Budenholzer: Former Atlanta Hawks head coach
- Mark Jackson: TV analyst, former Golden State Warriors head coach
- Juwan Howard: Miami Heat assistant
- James Borrego: San Antonio Spurs assistant
- Jerry Stackhouse: G-League head coach
- Jay Larranaga: Boston Celtics assistant
- Mike Woodson: Los Angeles Clippers assistant, former Knicks head coach
- Kenny Smith: TV analyst
At first glance, it looks as though Budenholzer and Blatt are favorites for the job as Marc Stein of the New York Times reported that the Knicks have "ramped up their background work" on both candidates.
The 2015 NBA Coach of the Year, Budenholzer was allowed to part ways with the Hawks, who have suddenly fallen from Eastern Conference contender to woeful rebuilding side in a matter of one season. In five years with the Hawks, he accrued a 213-197 record with four playoff appearances after spending 17 years as an assistant under Gregg Popovich in San Antonio.
It looks as though there will be some competition for Budenholzer, who might have a much nicer offer on the table in a matter of days. Per Marc Berman of the New York Post, the Milwaukee Bucks, fresh off pushing the Boston Celtics to seven games in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals with star Giannis Antetokounmpo, will also be pursuing Budenholzer.
As for Blatt, the former Cavaliers coach was all but banished to Turkey after an unceremonious firing in 2016, just a season removed from winning the Eastern Conference title. While there have been questions surrounding his ability to coach in the NBA, citing LeBron James as the sole source of his success, Blatt is one of the most successful coaches to ever roam the sidelines in Europe, winning a combined 21 titles in Israel, Russia, Yugoslavia and Turkey.
Given the recent trend of international flair to make its way into the league, Blatt could be the trendy choice.