Who (realistically) will be the next head coach?

Ian Begley continues to kick ass, even when there is no team to cover actively, with a fun mailbag where he makes his pick for who the most realistic pick is for the Knicks next coach:

@Jdazz6: I would like to know if the Knicks do not retain Coach Miller, who’s the most realistic replacement as coach? And of those options, who would be the best at developing these young players?

The most realistic replacement at coach is a tough one to answer. I’d think that the Knicks could get any of the following coaches if money isn’t a mitigating factor: Tom Thibodeau, Kenny Atkinson, Mark Jackson, Jeff Van Gundy, Mike Woodson. Usually, money isn’t a holdup when the Knicks are pursuing a coach. Steve Kerr is one recent exception to that rule.

Also, I see John Calipari as a less realistic option because of the money it would likely take to lure him from Kentucky. He’s also publicly said he’s not interested in the job. But because of his relationship with Knicks president Leon Rose, I’m not taking him off of my list of candidates until Rose hires someone else.

With regards to player development, Atkinson and Thibodeau have the most recent track records of success. Woodson, Jackson and Van Gundy all have their own player development success stories. But if the Knicks are looking for the most proven commodity from a player-development perspective, you’d think Atkinson is at the top of the list.

Player development will certainly be an important factor for New York, but I’d be surprised if that was the sole determining factor in the club’s search (assuming they don’t retain Miller as head coach).

Also, it’s important to have a head coach with a track record of player development. But it’s just as important — if not more important — to have assistants and staffers who excel in that area. They are the people who deal with it on a granular level day in and day out.

Soooo….I thiiiiiiink he’s saying Thibs is the most likely pick, right?

Atkinson would be it if player development was their main goal, but since he thinks it isn’t, then Thibs is probably the guy.

The rest of the mailbag is a fine read, as well.