New York Knicks Assistants Nick Van Exel
Mandatory Credit: Harry How /Allsport

The New York Knicks first priority was getting a head coach, but now that they have David Fizdale they need to fill out his coaching staff.

Although David Fizdale is highly regarded around the league and largely seen as an up-and-coming coach, the New York Knicks want to surround him with the best assistant coaches possible. It’s important that they surround him with the right guys he can lean on when times get tough.

Per ESPN’s Ian Begley, the Knicks have a few coaches in mind already. Begley reports:

Among current Knicks assistants, Howard Eisley is being ‘strongly considered’ for David Fizdale’s coaching staff, per league sources. One source described it as ‘highly likely’ that Eisley would be retained but cautioned that no final decision had been made. Keith Smart and Nick Van Exel are also strong candidates for Fizdale’s staff, though nothing is official yet. Newsday reported that the Knicks have received permission from the Grizzlies to speak with Smart.

It’s hard to dislike any of these options. Retaining Howard Eisley would be a good way to keep some continuity on the coaching staff. Keith Smart coached with Fizdale in Memphis and he has coached in the NBA for 17 years. And Nick Van Exel could be a mentor for the young guards on the Knicks like Frank Ntilikina, Trey Burke, and Emmanuel Mudiay.

All three of these guys would be excellent additions to Fizdale’s staff, but nothing is set in stone yet. The Knicks took their time hiring Fizdale and there’s no indication that they are in any rush to fill out his staff.

When reports broke about the Knicks showing interest in Nick Van Exel, he took to Twitter to provide a short message.

That’s not to say things haven’t progressed since the tweet, but it just goes to show that nothing is a done deal quite yet.

NY/NJ hoops reporter (NBA/NCAA) & sports betting writer for XL Media. Never had the makings of a varsity athlete.