LAS VEGAS, NV - AUGUST 13: Assistant coach Tom Thibodeau of the 2015 USA Basketball Men's National Team watches his players warm up before a USA Basketball showcase at the Thomas & Mack Center on August 13, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

The New York Knicks have the front office set. Now the organization will begin a coaching search that includes plenty of familiar names.

Danny Small

Here we go. The next phase of the New York Knicks‘ offseason—the search for a head coach—is about to commence. According to The Athletic, Knicks president Leon Rose is commencing the search for a head coach and he hopes to make a decision within the next “few weeks.”

As was previously reported, former Knicks assistant and former Coach of the Year (2010-11) Tom Thibodeau is atop the list. His most recent job with the Minnesota Timberwolves crashed and burned in the wake of Jimmy Butler’s falling out with the organization, but he has a strong track record of success. In his seven full seasons as a head coach, his teams have advanced to the playoffs six times.

Ousted Brooklyn Nets coach Kenny Atkinson is expected to get an interview. After leading Brooklyn on a rise that resulted in Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant signing in free agency, Atkinson mutually parted ways with the Nets.

He has a strong background of player development and much like Thibodeau, he was a Knicks assistant once upon a time. In fact, Atkinson is largely credited for tapping into Jeremy Lin’s potential, which sparked “Linsanity” in New York.

Additionally, after taking over for David Fizdale in 2019, interim head coach Mike Miller will have a chance to interview for the job as well. The Athletic’s reporting also notes that if Miller is passed over, the organization would attempt to keep him around “in some coaching capacity next season.”

If the Knicks were smart, they would do everything in their power to keep Miller around — as the head coach or a top assistant. He worked extensively with Mitchell Robinson during the 2019 summer and the extensive progress made by the raw center reflects well on Miller’s development chops.

This report follows the organization’s official announcement of their recent front office hires. Brock Aller, Walt Perrin, and Frank Zanin are all coming in with very specific and diverse skillsets. Aller is the salary cap expert, Perrin is the college scouting and draft guy, while Zanin is the pro personnel whiz.

In addition to these three moves, Rose also decided to keep general manager Scott Perry in the fold.

“We have assembled a diverse front office comprised of highly regarded and experienced basketball executives who have influenced some of the most successful players and organizations in the league,” Knicks president Leon Rose said. “These additions will complement the structure we already have in place and assist us in acquiring talent and developing strategies to build a team our fans can be proud of.”

Step one was bringing in Leon Rose to take over for the re-assigned Steve Mills. Step two was putting together an accomplished and dynamic front office structure around Rose. We’ve reached step three — the search for a head coach. And finally, step four will entail putting the right roster together.

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