Update: After Knicks dismiss Head Coach Jeff Hornacek multiple candidates arise including David Fizdale & Mark Jackson.
After dismissing head coach Jeff Hornacek the Knicks now have multiple candidates in mind, per Adrian Wojnarowski.
Knicks president Steve Mills and GM Scott Perry informed Hornacek of his firing upon the team's return to suburban New York following a flight back from a 108-95 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Hornacek had one year left on his contract. Kurt Rambis, associate head coach under Hornacek, was also dismissed. In two seasons with the Knicks, Hornacek went 31-51 and 29-53.
The Knicks made the first of what are expected to be several coaching changes this offseason, joining Milwaukee, Phoenix and Memphis on the market. Those three teams made coaching changes during the regular season, inserting interim head coaches. The futures of Charlotte coach Steve Clifford and Detroit president/coach Stan Van Gundy are expected to be determined in the coming days.
Perry, who was hired as GM in July, will finally have the chance to hire his own coach. The Knicks are determined to stay the course on drafting and player development as they as await the return of All-Star center Kristaps Porzingis, who isn't expected to return until midway through next season as he recovers from a torn ACL.
New York is targeting the summer of 2019 to explore the free-agent market in a serious way, when the team could have significant salary-cap space and Porzingis is back to full strength. In a competitive marketplace this spring, the mystique of Madison Square Garden as well as the resources and willingness to pay among the very top in terms of coaching salaries give New York a distinct advantage in recruiting available candidates.
Former Memphis Grizzlies coach David Fizdale, former Cleveland Cavaliers coach David Blatt -- now coaching in Turkey -- and former Golden State coach Mark Jackson are among the candidates that the Knicks are planning to contact, league sources told ESPN.
Hornacek was hired by then-team president Phil Jackson and then-GM Steve Mills prior to the 2016-17 season.
New York hasn't reached the playoffs in five seasons and has one playoff series win in the past 18 years. In Hornacek's first season in New York, Jackson requested that Hornacek blend elements of the triangle offense with what the coach preferred to run. The combination hindered the Knicks all season, as New York finished the season ranked 18th in offensive rating.
This season, Mills and Perry said that they'd evaluate Hornacek based on the development of younger players and the team's improvement on defense over the course of the season.