In the recent past, lead Knicks candidate Tom Thiboeau has been averse to having the front office dictate his coaching staff. He’s always picked his own guys.
In this new era, the basketball operations staff has taken a lead role in constructing a coach’s staff. Knicks president Leon Rose said last month he wants a coach who “will be collaborative with the front office.”
The new Knicks executives are expected to follow that trend. It’s been long reported the Knicks would like to keep interim coach Mike Miller around and will consider former head coach Mike Woodson for a part on the new staff.
Despite Thibodeau’s past whims, sources tell The Post he is wide open to change. It does not appear to be an issue.
“He trusts Leon — that’s why,’’ one NBA source told The Post.
While Rose and Thibodeau grew close at Creative Artists Agency, speculation he has a similar relationship with new vice president William Wesley has been overblown, according to another source. Wesley was a CAA consultant but they were closer when Thibs was in Chicago.
Thibodeau would want at least few familiar faces with him in New York if hired — certainly his longtime assistant Andy Greer and right-hand utility man, Daisuke Yoshimoto.
Greer worked alongside Thibodeau on Jeff Van Gundy’s Knicks’ staff and followed him to Chicago and Minnesota. Yoshimoto, who started as video coordinator, also has been with Thibodeau in Chicago and Minnesota.
Another top candidate would be Andy’s brother, Larry Greer, a Suns assistant this past season who was on Thibodeau’s Minnesota staff.
If the Knicks new regime is taking extra care during a seemingly endless 6 ½-week coaching search, you can hardly blame owner James Dolan.
The last time the Knicks hired a coach, the team lavished David Fizdale with a four-year, $22 million pact in the spring of 2018. Fizdale lasted one season and a couple of months of a second campaign before the plug was pulled in early December.
The Knicks have been without a permanent head coach for 7 ½ months — a franchise record.
Dolan is on the hook to pay Fizdale next season and the season thereafter. The Post has learned the $22 million pact was fully guaranteed.
In addition, Fizdale’s assistant coaches are under contract next season — including the already ousted Keith Smart and currently employed-but-in-limbo Kaleb Canales, Pat Sullivan, Jud Buechler and Royal Ivey.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused monumental financial damage to NBA teams, losses that will continue to mount with the uncertainty of fans being allowed into the Garden for next season’s opener.
Sources indicate Dolan still is willing to pay what it takes for a marquee new head coach. Figure the top candidates would want a four-year deal like Fizdale’s, even during times of economic hardship.
Thibodeau is considered the frontrunner — and most established candidate — but Kenny Atkinson and Jason Kidd have not been crossed off the list as of yet.
Rose, Wesley, strategy chief Brock Aller and GM Scott Perry, who hired Fizdale, have run the exhaustive 11-candidate search that may have concluded with Atkinson’s second interview Monday.
Perhaps the Knicks regime look indecisive but remember this is the first time Rose, Wesley and Aller have conducted a coaching search. Rose already admitted it’s “an education.’’
The Knicks are the only team without a coach and sources indicated the Bulls are expected to stand pat with Jim Boylen.
“In trying to be thorough and doing everything perfectly, the Knicks are dragging it out to a new level,’’ one NBA source said. “I believe they know who they’re going to hire, always have. They just need to make sure.’’