New York Knicks head coach Mike Woodson has had a historically good start to his tenure in the Big Apple, but with the guaranteed portion his contract expiring next summer, he still has work to do to earn an extension.
Considering their cap situation, the Knicks will struggle to add any major pieces in the 2014 offseason without giving away some of their own talent or putting their presumed 2015 rebuild in jeopardy, so it might be smart to explore alternative coaching options as a way of improving the team.
The likes of Phil Jackson, Jerry Sloan, Lionel Hollins and Jeff Van Gundy could be convinced to return to coaching if New York came calling with a talented roster like this. Alternatively, the Knicks could take a look at the college coaching scene. But either way, Woodson will have to prove he's worth keeping around.
Based on his first two years in charge, Woodson does appear to be deserving of a long-term contract, but that could change if he doesn't meet the team's high expectations in 2013-14. He's had successful regular seasons, but if he doesn't show signs of being able to take that success further into the playoffs, he may not be the man for the job.
Plenty of money has been spent building a talented roster with depth at every position, and on paper, this is a team that has a chance to contend for a title. It could all go to waste, however, if Woodson doesn't manage this squad the right way.
As a solid defensive coach who struck gold with the dual-point guard offense last season and managed to get career years out of Carmelo Anthony and J.R. Smith, there's good reason to believe Woodson should return next summer.
This isn't an article dismissing Woodson's body of work in New York or saying that he should be let go at season's end. It's simply a look at the reality of the situation—if he doesn't do these things, he may not be back in 2014-15.