Knicks Rumors: Victor Oladipo, LaMelo Ball, a dark-horse coaching candidate

Victor Oladipo and Jimmy Butler (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Victor Oladipo and Jimmy Butler (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Catching you up on the latest rumors making waves concerning the New York Knicks.

The New York Knicks are in the process of interviewing for their full-time head coaching position. While interim coach Mike Miller will receive consideration, it seems only a matter of time before former Bulls and Wolves coach Tom Thibodeau is the new man roaming – and flipping out – along the Madison Square Garden sideline.

We learned from ESPN yesterday that Thibs had his formal interview with Knicks president Leon Rose on Thursday. The New York Post reports Rose is conducting interviews alongside recent hire William Wesley, vice president of strategy Brock Aller, and incumbent general manager Scott Perry.

The Knicks also interviewed Chicago Bulls assistant Chris Fleming this week, per Yahoo. The team is expected to make a decision on their hire after conducting interviews with up to 11 candidates by the end of the month.

Is Jason Kidd a dark-horse candidate?

Look away, Knicks fans. Look away. If you aren’t sold on Jason Kidd as the best option to coach the Knicks, you might want to skip to the next rumor. A recent report by the New York Post claims the Hall-of-Fame point guard could be the “lone long-shot threat to favorite Tom Thibodeau.”

However, in the same article, written by Marc Berman, an NBA source gives a damning review of Kidd.

"“I wouldn’t hire Jason Kidd if he was the last coach standing,’’ an NBA source who has worked with Kidd told the New York Post. “It would be a terrible choice. There’s a reason Milwaukee is in the place where they are right now — coaching.’’"

While the NBA was meeting with the eight non-Orlando teams about a possible second bubble, the Knicks missed that meeting to interview Kidd via Zoom.

Is Victor Oladipo headed to Miami?

With the Indiana Pacers already on the books for significant salary obligations to Myles Turner, Domantas Sabonis, and Malcom Brogdon, it’s possible that two-time All-Star Victor Oladipo could be looking for a new home next season.

He becomes an interesting trade target as a player coming off a major injury who is owed $21 million before becoming a free agent next summer. Oladipo opted out of returning to play in Orlando as he continues to rehab back to full strength from his torn quad injury.

The Knicks have been linked as a potential trade destination for Oladipo by Ian Begley of SNY.

However, in a recent article in the Indianapolis Star, an old rival to the Knicks is presented as a more appealing landing spot.

"“Despite rampant speculation that he could end up with the Knicks (he fired Leon Rose of CAA, then his agent who is now president of the franchise), the strongest preliminary indication is Miami [as Oladipo’s next team.”"

The Star reports that the 28-year-old guard “wants two things: the most money possible and the chance to win big in the playoffs.”

While the Knicks could have plenty of cap space to throw a large contract at Oladipo in 2021, it’s obviously questionable whether Leon Rose can build the team into a legit playoff contender within a short window.

Of course, there are also legitimate risks with committing a long-term deal to a star recovering from injury.

LaMelo Ball wants to play for the Knicks

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: a top draft prospect wants to play for the New York Knicks, and all they need to do is secure the right pick to get him. Steph Curry flashbacks, anyone?

While SNY has previously reported that those close to LaMelo Ball would like to see him drafted by the Knicks, and Ball’s father has made it quite clear on a recent podcast why he thinks Broadway is the best place for his son, a new report by Ian Begley of SNY says multiple teams projected to pick after the Knicks in the upcoming draft believe Ball and those in his circle prefer that he lands in New York.

The Knicks have the sixth best lottery odds to land the top pick. They have a 37.2% chance of landing in the top four. While a few teams at the top of the lottery seemingly prefer other options than Ball, he is projected to be selected toward the top of the draft, meaning the Knicks would need to trade up if the ping pong balls don’t land their way and he remains their top point guard target.

That said, New York is well positioned to make a move with an extra first round pick from the Clippers in this year’s draft and two future first round picks owed from Dallas.

Next. What if Phil Jackson was never fired?. dark

We still have several months before the 2020 NBA Draft, with the lottery set for the end of August, so a lot can change by then.