Report: Steve Kerr Closing In on Final Decision Between Knicks and Warriors

Adam FromalNational NBA Featured ColumnistMay 14, 2014

ORLANDO, FL - FEBRUARY 24:  Coach Steve Kerr of Team Shaq responds to reporters during a press conference prior to the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge as part of 2012 All-Star Weekend at the Amway Center on February 24, 2012 in Orlando, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2012 NBAE (Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images)
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UPDATE on Wednesday, May 14 at 5:50 p.m. ET by Adam Fromal

The New York Knicks aren't going to give in without a fight. 

As Adrian Wojnarowski reports for Yahoo sports, the Knicks are now willing to add in another year to Steve Kerr's proposed deal: 

After resisting for weeks, the New York Knicks offered Steve Kerr a fourth guaranteed season on a proposed contract, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

The Knicks had been holding firm on three guaranteed years and a team option for a fourth until consenting to the Kerr's wishes late Tuesday, league sources said.

Was that all that was needed to swing things in their direction? 

We'll find out soon enough. 

--End of update--

 

ORIGINAL TEXT

The chips are falling in the coaching ranks, and it seems likely that Steve Kerr will be the next one to commit to a sideline.

According to Yahoo Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski, the current TNT analyst is expected to make a final decision in the very near future, choosing between the New York Knicks and Golden State Warriors. 

"After the Golden State Warriors made an aggressive final bid to usurp the New York Knicks in pursuit of Steve Kerr, the NBA's hottest coaching candidate is finally closing in on a decision on Wednesday," Wojnarowski wrote. 

Though the Knicks, thanks primarily to the Phil Jackson connection, have been the presumptive favorites to land Kerr all along, the desire to give him a shorter deal than he'd find elsewhere has held back his willingness to commit.

It's a strange thing to get hung up on, especially on the heels of Mike Brown being fired by the Cleveland Cavaliers just one season into a five-year contract, but job security—even just perceived job security—is important.

ESPN.com's Marc Stein breaks down the current situation:

The Knicks, sources say, remain the strong favorites to land Kerr, largely because of his longstanding relationship with new team president Phil Jackson. One source close to the process told ESPN.com's Ramona Shelburne that New York and Kerr's representatives have been in "the final stages" of talks for more than a week and said he'd be "shocked" if Kerr landed anywhere but New York.

But the ongoing delay in wrapping up a deal, amid repeated suggestions that the parties are struggling to find a consensus on contract terms, has emboldened the Warriors to make this renewed push. Kerr also has longstanding relationships with Golden State owner Joe Lacob, son Kirk Lacob and Warriors president Rick Welts.

At this point, the direction of speculation really shouldn't change.

The Knicks should be considered the heavy favorites to land this coaching pool's golden boy, especially if all that's holding the two sides up is an ongoing contract discussion.

They've reached that stage, after all, while the Dubs are still trying to convince Kerr that the Bay Area is a good fit for him.

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 16: Tim Hardaway Jr. #5 of the New York Knicks in action against the Toronto Raptors in the second half during an NBA basketball game at Madison Square Garden on April. 16, 2014 in New York City. The Knicks defeated the Raptors 95-92.
Rich Schultz/Getty Images

And let's not forget that Kerr already seems to have done a bit of positioning, as that's the only reasonable explanation for voting Tim Hardaway Jr. as his Rookie of the Year selection. Between that and the Jackson connection, it's hard to see the Warriors usurping the pole position.

"Let’s be honest, if Phil wasn't there, nobody from the Knicks would have contacted me,"’ Kerr told Marc Berman of the New York Post.

Well, no one from the Knicks maybe. However, the Warriors no longer have a Jackson to reach out to Kerr, and they still managed to find his number, pick up the phone and call him. Multiple times, from the sounds of things.

Soon enough, we'll see which appeals win him over.