The New York Knicks are in the final phases of contract negotiations with Mike Woodson and are predicted to make him their coach in the approaching days, a source with understanding of the negotiations confirmed. Basketball betting lines
“They’re just waiting on paperwork,” the source claimed.
“The job’s his,” a second source familiar with negotiations said. “It’s just a matter of time.”
The 2 parts are working on a multiyear offer, a team source confirmed.
Woodson took over as coach on an interim basis when Mike D’Antoni stepped down March 14. Under Woodson, the Knicks finished the regular season 18-6 and in 7th place in the Eastern Conference. He coached the team to a win in Game Four of its 1st-round playoff series against the Miami Heat, which snapped the franchise’s NBA-record 13-game postseason unlucky streak.
Woodson has received the support of many NY Knicks players, between them Carmelo Anthony, Amare Stoudemire and Jeremy Lin.
Anthony has shown the strongest support for the 54-year-old Woodson.
“I’m hopeful he’s back,” Anthony said earlier in the month. “There’s no need to try to change it up now. I’m a big believer in sticking with what you have.”
When D’Antoni 1st stepped down, Phil Jackson, the previous Knicks player and Bulls and Lakers coach, and Kentucky coach John Calipari were discussed as potential replacements.
But there wasn’t any indication the 66-year-old Jackson would come out of retirement — one team source said that the Knicks did not reach out to Jackson — and Calipari continually has denied interest in leaving Kentucky. New York was hesitant to reach out to Jackson due to his age and the big agreement offer that it might likely take to entice him to take the job.
Woodson is longtime friends with Knicks GM Glen Grunwald. Woodson and Grunwald played school basketball together at Indiana.
Many believe Woodson’s candidacy for the full-time job seriously improved when the Knicks took away the interim tag from Grunwald’s title late in the regular season. But Grunwald related at the time that hiring the team’s next coach would be an “organizational” call, not his alone. He was, however, highly complementary of Woodson.
“Woody’s done a fantastic job. I can not give him enough credit for the job he’s done since he’s been here,” Grunwald said in late April. “Normal coaching changes don’t result in such a dramatic improvement in a team’s effectiveness so I believe that speaks extremely well of him.”
Woodson, who coached the Atlanta Hawks to the playoffs in 3 of his 6 seasons with the club, declined comment thru a team spokesman. A team spokesman also declined comment when asked questions regarding the state of negotiations between Woodson and the New York Knicks.
Previously this month, Woodson split with his agent, Keith Glass.
Glass is the son of Joe Glass, who represented former Knicks coach Larry Brown during his stormy 1-season tenure in NY. Brown, who confirmed a 5-year, $50 million contract with the Knicks, reached an $18.5 million settlement with the club after being fired.