With a list of candidates that has already reached double digits, the Knicks’ coaching search is poised to extend well into July, according to two people who were familiar with the team’s plans but not authorized to discuss the search publicly.
Tom Thibodeau, the former coach of the Chicago Bulls and the Minnesota Timberwolves, is widely regarded as the favorite for the post in league coaching circles, largely because of his longstanding ties to Leon Rose, the Knicks’ new president. Thibodeau was a client of Creative Artists Agency throughout Rose’s run as the former co-head of C.A.A.’s basketball division.
But two former Nets coaches — Kenny Atkinson and Jason Kidd — and several highly rated assistants seeking a first shot as a head coach are also among the candidates. Since the Knicks are not part of the N.B.A.’s 22-team resumption of the 2019-20 season near Orlando, Fla., starting next month, team officials have begun video interviews for the post.
The Knicks last week secured permission from the Los Angeles Lakers to interview Kidd, who is now an assistant coach under Frank Vogel, as The New York Times first reported on Monday. The Athletic reported the same day that Mike Brown, the former head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Lakers who is now working as Steve Kerr’s associate head coach with the Golden State Warriors, will also be interviewed.
Kidd and Brown joined Thibodeau, Atkinson and two more candidates: Mike Woodson, who previously coached the Knicks and the Atlanta Hawks; and Mike Miller, who posted a 17-27 record as the Knicks’ interim coach after the team fired David Fizdale in December.
N.B.A. assistant coaches on the Knicks’ list are Orlando’s Pat Delany, Chicago’s Chris Fleming, San Antonio’s Will Hardy, Dallas’s Jamahl Mosley and Philadelphia’s Ime Udoka.
Kidd, whose excellence as a point guard over 19 seasons earned him a spot in the Basketball Hall of Fame, was a key member of the 2012-13 Knicks, which Woodson guided to the franchise’s most recent playoff appearance.
He became a head coach immediately and led the Nets to a 44-38 record and a trip to the second round of the playoffs in 2013-14 before the sides parted acrimoniously. Kidd, 47, then coached the Milwaukee Bucks, posting two playoff appearances and serving as Giannis Antetokounmpo’s first N.B.A. coach before being fired midway through his fourth season.
The Knicks also conducted numerous interviews before hiring Fizdale as they entered the 2018-19 season and, by taking a similar approach, they will enable Rose to gather information and opinions on his roster along the way. July 1 will be four months on the job for Rose, who has been tasked with trying to steer the Knicks back onto the path to contention after seven consecutive seasons without a playoff berth — and to help rebuild a sagging reputation that has made the team a nonfactor for years with top free agents.
It is believed that Miller will be offered a chance to stay in the organization, no matter how the coaching search unfolds, as a reward for his work after taking over a 4-18 team as interim coach.