Who’s got next?
An early look at likely candidates to replace Jeff Hornacek:
He’s the fans’ top choice. The Queens/St. John’s product who had two stints as the Knicks point guard would seem a natural. But the Steve Mills/Scott Perry front office is big on creating a convivial family vibe, and Jackson reportedly had bouts with several in Warriors’ front office. That bad rap likely is why he hasn’t been pursued much since getting axed in 2014.
Despite a bang-up job with an injury-depleted, talent-stripped club, Rivers is no lock to return with the Clippers. He’s owed $10 million for one final 2018-19 season and with L.A. in full rebuilding mode, an extension appears unlikely. He would zoom to the top of the Knicks’ charts if he’s a free agent. And Rivers could bring along the Knicks’ most successful head coach since Jeff Van Gundy in Mike “54-28’’ Woodson.
A wildly popular assistant coach in Miami, Fizdale was excelling with Memphis with a solid first year until brought down by an apparent feud with Marc Gasol. Heat sources believe Fizdale’s strong rapport with players is a strong suit and has learned defense under Pat Riley’s tutelage. Nevertheless, the Suns have eyes on Fizdale, best known for his “Take that for data’’ rant during the 2017 playoff run.
Perry, as a Michigan assistant, recruited Kidd all the way back at California and are said to be close. But Kidd burned the Nets and Bucks sources suggest the newly minted Hall of Famer was resistant to changing his ways.
After being an assistant coach with the Raptors, he’s spent the last two seasons as Toronto’s G-League head coach, leading the squad to this year’s finals. Crossed paths with Perry for two seasons in Detroit in the early 2000s. Once interviewed with Phil Jackson in 2014 and is top of the up-and-comer list.
Former Seton Hall star has paid his dues as a longtime assistant coach, now with the Thunder. Interestingly Griffin and Perry are repped by the same firm. Plus, Griffin has had assistant stints with the Bulls, Bucks and Orlando, when Perry was in the Magic front office.
Former Cavs coach interviewed for the Knicks job in 2016 at Mills’ insistence. Blatt is former Princeton teammate of Mills and player developmental director Craig Robinson, but it’s doubtful Perry would be on board here.
It’s a long shot, but if Toronto bows out of the playoffs early, Casey could shake free and any squad with an opening should be dialing his cell phone.