The speculation continues to swirl around Denver Nuggets head coach Brian Shaw and whether or not he is a candidate for the vacant New York Knicks head job.
While Shaw previously went on record stating he was “happy” with the Nuggets and then represented the team at this week’s NBA Lottery, a new report by the New York Post‘s Marc Berman indicates Knicks President Phil Jackson is still interested in trying to lure Shaw to New York. After New York lost out on their first choice when Steve Kerr elected to take the head coaching job with the Golden State Warriors, Derek Fisher‘s name came up as a potential target for the Knicks. Fisher, who is currently playing in the NBA Western Conference Finals as a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder, has said he is keeping his options open and hasn’t even decided if he will retire at the end of the season (there is some speculation that the Thunder may offer to keep him on the payroll next season as a player/assistant coach if he decides to stick around). But in an article posted last night, the New York Post quotes a source that said Phil Jackson is still holding out hope that he can convince Shaw to come to The Big Apple:
“According to a source, Jackson…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. The source said Jackson hasn’t totally given up hope he somehow can pry Shaw from Denver, especially if the Fisher scenario falls through.”
The most disconcerting part of the story is the implication that it’s the need to compensate Denver if Shaw leaves that is the larger obstacle in this situation, as opposed to Shaw’s loyalty to the Nuggets. Granted, all of this is speculation on the part of an unnamed source so it may turn out to be nothing more than words floating around in the ether, but the longer this story hangs around, the more worried Nuggets fans should be that we may be looking for a new sideline leader just one year after the team’s last coaching search.
Personally, I’m a firm believer that this is a players league and coaches don’t make enough of an impact on a team to separate championship contenders from the also-rans. If the Knicks are offering compensation in the form of future first round picks to obtain Shaw’s services, I think that’s a deal the Nuggets front office at least has to consider. Let’s not forget that the Nuggets didn’t do so bad the last time we went wheeling and dealing with the Knicks (heeeey, Melo!).
Which team do you think Brian Shaw ends up coaching next year? Is this a complete non-story or do you think there is some validity to the possibility of Shaw leaving town for the Knicks job? Share your thoughts in the comments below.