While the New York Knicks are still looking for their next head coach and still waiting for the NBA Playoffs to come to an end so they can interview Oklahoma City Thunder guard Derek Fisher, it looks as if Fisher could be Phil Jackson‘s Plan B.
Even though it has long been speculated that Fisher is the leading candidate to land the Knicks head coaching gig, according to Marc Berman of the New York Post, current Denver Nuggets head coach Brian Shaw is the Knicks preferred choice as their next coach.
According to a source, Jackson, the Knicks president, prefers Shaw over Fisher, but the Nuggets would require the Knicks to pay compensation. That appears to be a bigger roadblock to getting Shaw out of his Denver contract than Shaw’s reluctance to come to New York. It’s unclear whether Jackson has formally asked the Nuggets for permission to speak to Shaw.
The source said Jackson hasn’t totally given up hope he somehow can pry Shaw from Denver, especially if the Fisher scenario falls through.
While Shaw is an obvious choice given his close ties to Jackson and his familiarity with the triangle offense, it is going to be very hard, if not impossible for the Knicks to acquire him as they will likely have to trade for him similar to the way the Los Angeles Clippers acquired Doc Rivers last offseason.
Given the Knicks lack of trade assets, as the Nuggets all but certainly would demand a draft pick or two in return, it doesn’t seem likely the two sides could make a deal. Teams are only allowed to give cash or draft picks in return for coaches, and the Knicks don’t have a movable first-round selection until 2018.
The Knicks have had enough trouble trying to make deals for players, they will run into the same problems trying to make one for a coach.
Then there is the fact that Shaw has been on record stating that he has no interest in the Knicks job and if it were offered to him he would decline.
If Jackson can’t land Shaw or Fisher, Berman wrote that he may move on to another of his former players, Tyronn Lue.
Before you know it the Zen Master could be down to his fifth or sixth choice to coach this team.
That’s something that Jackson likely didn’t anticipate when he took the Knicks job.