Latest News / Jun 9, 2014 / 10:30 pm

Update: Derek Fisher Signs 5-Year, $25 Million Deal To Coach Knicks

J.R. Smith, Derek Fisher

J.R. Smith, Derek Fisher (Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports)

UPDATE: After hearing earlier in the day the Knicks were hoping to entice Derek Fisher into becoming their next head coach, sources originally revealed to Yahoo he’s signed a 5-year, $25 million contract to retire and do just that.

As first reported by Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski, and confirmed by the New York Daily News‘ Frank Isola, Fisher will start his retirement in extremely lucrative fashion:

Wojnarowski also revealed former Bulls center Bill Cartwright and former Lakers player and coach Kurt Ramis will both join the staff as assistants to ease Fisher’s transition into his first head coaching gig:

It seems Fisher was looking for an identical long-term committment from the notoriously fickle Knicks executives (i.e. James Dolan):

Fisher, 39, had been seeking the same five-year commitment the Knicks had given Jackson to be president, sources told Yahoo Sports.

Fisher’s deal matches the five-year, $25 million agreement Kerr reached with Golden State, but is less of a commitment than what New York initially offered Kerr to become its coach.

A press conference is expected tomorrow to announce the new helmsman:

Now the big question is what Carmelo Anthony thinks of the choice. We’re sure Fisher will implement Tex Winter‘s triple-post offense, which Jackson relied upon while winning six titles in Chicago and five more championships with the Lakers.

PREVIOUSLY: It appears the Knicks have settled on their next coaching candidate. While they lost Steve Kerr to a sweetheart deal with the Dubs, their biggest fear before they’re expected to hire Derek Fisher as their next head coach, will be whether Fish decides to keep playing after finishing the 2013-14 season with the Thunder.

By way of CBSSports.com, comes word from Marc Stein at ESPN New York the Knicks are hoping to ameliorate their chances of hiring Fisher with an increased focus on landing the 39-year-old many believe is the most natural fit to lead a team when his playing career ends:

The New York Knicks’ pursuit of Derek Fisher to be their new coach will ramp up this week and is widely expected to result in the hiring of the 18-year veteran guard, according to NBA coaching sources.

Sources told ESPN.com that new Knicks president Phil Jackson has been fully focused on Fisher since Steve Kerr unexpectedly decided to take the Golden State Warriors’ job, when Jackson and essentially the whole league believed Kerr was bound for New York.

One source close to the talks said Monday that “things could take shape quickly in the early part of the week.” The Knicks, though, are approaching this serious stage of talks with a hint of trepidation after the seemingly inevitable hiring of Kerr unraveled.

“Everyone felt that Kerr was a done deal too,” another source cautioned. “Only Phil knows.”

Phil was fined $25,000 for tampering after mentioning the title-winning Lakers guard as a coaching candidate before Fisher’s season had concluded with the Thunder. The audacity of Phil to mention him — or possibly the naiveté — shows just how much Jackson want him to helm the team from the bench. Jackson has ample experience working with Derek when Phil coached him to five titles with the Lakers.

Almost everyone believes Fisher will retire after completing his 18th season as a backup point guard and veteran locker-room presence for the Thunder. But it’s the Knicks we’re talking about, so it’s not out of the question James Dolan or someone else mucks it up at the last moment.

Plus, with Carmelo Anthony‘s impending free agency — or not — just three weeks away, the Knicks have to land a coach soon, so they can sell ‘Melo on the steps the Zen Master and Knicks brass are taking to make them a bonafide contender. A new coach will go a long way to deciding whether Anthony chooses to opt-in, or re-sign — possibly at a reduced rate.

Whether Fisher makes New York a more attractive free agency destination for Anthony is still up in the air, but having a coach is preferable to pitching ‘Melo in July with a coaching vacancy still looming over the franchise.

(ESPN New York; H/T EOB)

Is Fisher a good choice to coach the Knicks?

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  • 2cents

    Jury is out on this one. Seeing as point guards appear to make good (not great) head coaches (for example; Avery Johnson, Mark Jackson, Jason Kidd), the move seems logical. They know the players and what they want and don’t have to be strong with Xs and Os. They are there more to guide the players and give them some structure, I can see why Fisher would be a good choice.

    But if the Knicks want to truly contend or at least show they are serious, they need a smart head coach who can push the players and command respect. Coaches like Jerry Sloan, Larry Brown or Jeff Van Gundy might be a better choice…