The New York Knicks have been entrenched in headlines early in the offseason—and rightfully so.
This is a large-market team that's making a plethora of changes from top to bottom. With Phil Jackson in the fold as the team's president, rest assured we'll see a generous portion of changes in the coming months.
Rumors surrounding the Knicks have been plentiful—it almost appears as though we're reading about new speculation on a daily basis. So, we may as well keep the ball rolling here.
Let's take a look at the latest gossip involving the Knicks organization flowing across the web.
Head Coaching Candidates
This high-profile team is without a head coach. Although Jackson doesn't appear to be hurrying to fill the position, rumors continue to swirl regarding potential candidates.
ESPN's Marc Stein and Ramona Shelburne uncovered a trio of possibilities.
They begin with a familiar face for Jackson:
New York Knicks president Phil Jackson continues to send out signals that he's in no rush to hire a coach until he can seriously discuss the position with Oklahoma City's Derek Fisher, according to sources close to the process.
Sources told ESPN.com on Sunday that Jackson is planning to proceed with a deliberate coaching search after the Knicks, convinced they were getting Steve Kerr, watched their runaway No. 1 candidate choose the Golden State Warriors instead.
A current NBA coach was also brought into the mix:
Sources say that in addition to Fisher, the Knicks still have interest in Denver Nuggets coach Brian Shaw but do not currently plan to ask the Nuggets' permission to speak with him. Because league rules restrict teams to offering only cash or draft picks as compensation for coaches, and not players, sources say New York fears it likely can't meet the Nuggets' demands if it were to try to get Shaw out of his contract.
Finally, they bring up a former Knicks player: "Sources say Jackson has not ruled out a sit-down with Knicks fan favorite Mark Jackson, who has rejoined ESPN as a broadcaster after his dismissal by the Warriors."
Fisher may be a logical choice. After all, he is very familiar with the way Jackson runs things from their days together in Los Angeles. Jackson will have to wait until the Oklahoma City Thunder's playoff run comes to an end before the two can speak.
Shaw may be a pricey option—too much for the Knicks to acquire. The team doesn't have a first-round draft pick available to trade until 2018. It appears they simply don't have the bargaining chips.
Jackson is an interesting option. However, he currently agreed to a multiyear deal to rejoin ESPN as a broadcaster, according to the Associated Press (h/t USA Today).
We'll have to see what Jackson plans for his next move.
More Coaching Additions?
Aside from the head coaching vacancy, the Knicks are looking for a supporting cast as well.
During the NBA Draft Combine, general manager Steve Mills had a conversation with a former NBA great, according to Marc Berman of the New York Post:
Knicks GM Steve Mills huddled with Scottie Pippen for about 15 minutes Thursday at the draft combine to gauge the legendary Bull’s interest in potentially working for the organization in some capacity, possibly as an assistant coach, according to an NBA source.
Berman also noted Pippen's response when asked about the position. Said Pippen, "I haven’t talked to Phil. I have to wait until that time comes. Right now nothing’s out there. I’m not going to say whether I’m interested or not until it happens."
The experience of Pippen could be a valuable addition to a team in transition if he's interested in the job.
We all knew there would be plenty of changes once Jackson took the reins. According to a tweet from Ian Begley of ESPN New York, some of those changes may already be set in motion:
Former first-round pick Raymond Felton spent two seasons with the Knicks, but that may be it for him. He's owed $3,793,693 in base salary next season, according to Spotrac.com, and after a dip in performance this past year, Jackson's desire to move him doesn't come as a huge shock.
If the team is to dish a veteran point guard, bringing in another makes sense.
Steve Blake is now 34 and spent time as a nice rotational piece with the Jackson-led Lakers. This appears to be yet another move by Jackson to bring some familiarity to his Knicks.
The Kevin Love Saga
Love has become a highly coveted target for any team willing to make a big move this offseason.
According to a report from Berman, Jackson is looking to be a major player in the Love sweepstakes, Writes Berman, "According to an NBA source, Knicks president Phil Jackson has been plotting to be involved in making something happen with Love via a trade."
Bringing in Love would not only give the Knicks a 6'10" power forward who thrives on both ends of the court and can knock down threes like a guard, but it could make New York an enticing option for Carmelo Anthony.
If Jackson can get a deal done with Love, taking into consideration a healthy amount of 2015 cap space for the Knicks, Anthony could be rather tempted to stay in New York.
It will be a very interesting offseason, indeed.