It is now the offseason in New York. This will be a very offseasony offseason, with new management in place and several uncertainties to solve. It's now fair game to invoke the name of pretty much any person who has ever worked with Phil Jackson as a potential Knicks hire. Slava Medvedenko for Knicks GM! Knicks in talks to bring in Smush Parker to teach the team the Triangle! Jimmy Kimmel, Wilmer Valderrama, and Xzibit hired as Knicks scouts! Audi A8 to challenge Raymond Felton for starting point guard spot!
There will be rumor fatigue. We'll be begging for basketball to come back, even if it's sad, losing basketball. Just anything but constant rumors. But we'll get through this TOGETHER and try to keep track of things methodically to avoid nausea. Today we begin with a couple news bits from late Thursday, both involving old Jackson friends:
1. From George Willis of the New York Post:
According to a source close to the situation, Kerr "absolutely expects" to be offered the job. "And if he's offered the job, he's definitely going to do it," the source told The Post.
The Post has learned Kerr has had conversations with his bosses at Turner Sports about adjusting his schedule as an analyst during the upcoming playoffs should he be named the Knicks' head coach.
Nothing shocking there. Kerr's name has sat atop the pile of potential Jackson coaching hires since well before he came president. The Knicks still need to fire Mike Woodson (and according to Frank Isola, that might happen quite soon) but Kerr is well ahead of the pack rumor-wise if and when the time comes, and it sounds like the interest is mutual. I picture this like the carnival game where you shoot water at the button and the little racehorse scoots along every time you make contact. If rumors are the water, Kerr's horse is like 8 little horse-lengths in the lead.
2. From Yahoo's Marc J. Spears:
Pau Gasol felt nostalgic in what he admitted might have been his last day with the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday. He's also excited about his impending free agency and is open to a reunion with former Lakers coach Phil Jackson, who now runs the New York Knicks' front office.
"I'm happy for him and the position that he got," Gasol said. "I'm always going to be a big fan and a friend. I would listen."
The Knicks would be interested in Gasol in free agency, a source said.
Gasol, 33, made $19.3 million in the final year of his contract and isn't expected to get anything close to the type of salary again. Joining the Knicks would likely come with a massive pay cut since the most they can offer - without a sign-and-trade deal - is the taxpayer's midlevel exception, expected to be worth about $3.2 million.
So, Gasol would be open to attention from the Knicks, and a source says the Knicks will provide that attention. Like Spears says, the best the Knicks can offer this summer is something from (perhaps all of) their taxpayer's midlevel exception. That is unless Gasol comes to the Knicks as part of a sign-and-trade for...well, there are a couple options. (The Knicks would have to be under the taxpayer's line or "apron" or whatever to take on a sign-and-trade, so it'd be part of something big.)
So there are some offseason rumor snowballs to portend what will eventually be an avalanche. Nothing will happen roster-wise until the rest of the NBA is done playing (weird that half the league had schedules longer than the Knicks', isn't it? What's the deal with that? Doesn't seem fair.), and nothing will happen staff-wise until some people get fired or reassigned or whatever. Onward!
Update: More Woodson stuff from ESPN if you're interested. Not all that different from the Isola stuff above. Don't fire him tonight, Knicks. I've got somewhere to be.