The New York Knicks are looking to make the playoffs this season. However, their recent struggles could be a strong indication that they might not advance to the postseason again for the fifth straight season, which might signal the end of coach Jeff Hornacek’s tenure.
The Knicks will look to improve their roster before the trade deadline, but getting a player who could make them a playoff team is unlikely. Ian Begley of ESPN reported that the Knicks have no plans to trade future assets before the deadline, which will make it difficult for New York to acquire a game-changing player.
And if things do not improve for New York in the second half of the season, Hornacek might get the pink slip this summer. Mitch Lawrence of Sporting News reported that “it would be a surprise” if Hornacek retains his job after the 2017-18 NBA season.
Lawrence pointed out that Knicks general manager Scott Perry and team president Steve Mills had nothing to do with the decision to hire Hornacek in 2016. The hiring was Phil Jackson’s call, as he focused on hiring a coach who is open to running his preferred system.
If the Knicks eventually decide to part ways with Hornacek, Lawrence mentioned Jason Kidd might pursue the coaching vacancy. He also added that former Golden State Warriors head coach Mark Jackson will be a strong candidate for the job.
Kidd was recently fired by the Milwaukee Bucks, but the former NBA Most Valuable Player will likely get another chance. Kidd is reportedly considering the Knicks as one of his preferred destinations. He has ties to the organization, having finished his playing career with the Knicks in 2013.
Kidd will reportedly be a “viable candidate” if the Knicks decide to look for a new coach despite getting fired early in the season. The 44-year-old coach also views the New York job as a great opportunity mainly because of Knicks’ rising star Kristaps Porzingis.
On the other hand, the Knicks are also expected to strongly consider hiring Jackson. He also has strong ties to the franchise, as he was a fan favorite during his playing years with the Knicks.
Jackson also has a good relationship with Mills. The 52-year-old has not coached in the league since he was fired by the Warriors in 2014. Despite losing the Warriors job, he has received a lot of credits for developing the Warriors into a championship contender before current Golden State coach Steve Kerr took over.