Mike Budenholzer is showing serious interest in the New York Knicks. Now the question on everyone’s minds: is the feeling mutual?
Mike Budenholzer is currentely the Atlanta Hawk’s head coach, but it looks like he is eyeing Madison Square Garden as his next office. According to reports from the New York Post’s Marc Berman, Budenholzer’s desired destination for next season is with the New York Knicks. Berman spoke to an NBA source who would go on to say:
“New York’s his top choice,’’ the NBA source said. “If they offered him the job, he’d say yes. He wants to live in New York.’’
If this is true, the Knicks will have the opportunity to sign a former Coach of the Year that had big success in Atlanta before the organization decided to hit a full reset on the future of the team. Budenholzer does not want to sit around through another season where the end game is a high lottery pick.
“Phoenix and the Knicks are trying to win every game,’’ said the NBA source, who has spoken to Budenholzer recently. “There’s a good chance Atlanta is not looking to win games the next two years. This wasn’t Mike’s decision. He didn’t expect it. He doesn’t want to lose games.’’
The odd part about this story is that many people do not expect the Knicks to compete next season. While they may not be in full-tank mode like the Hawks, they are going to struggle for the better part of the year without Kristaps Porzingis.
Although if New York really is Budenholzer’s “top choice” that might signal that he thinks the Knicks may be closer to a return to prominence that many think. Getting the lottery pick this summer right, further development of the young corps, and cap space in 2019 could all be factors on Budenholzer’s mind.
If the Knicks do decide to hire Budenholzer, they will need to compensate Atlanta with either draft picks or monetary compensation. But Budenholzer could be worth whatever compensation they may have to give up.
Follow Danny Small on TWITTER