Late last week, word broke that the New York Knicks expressed interest in interviewing Atlanta Hawks head coach Mike Budenholzer for their vacant position. Over the weekend, that interview reportedly took place and, on the heels of the conversation, Marc Berman of the New York Post reported a number of very interesting tidbits concerning the potential marriage of Budenholzer and the Knicks.
Berman brings word that Budenholzer “is genuinely interested” in the Knicks opening and he cites an NBA source indicating that “New York is his top choice” at this stage. Of course, it is worth pointing out that this comes from only one outlet at this juncture but it goes on to say that Budenholzer would “say yes” if offered New York’s position.
Much of the speculation stems from rumblings already present considering Budenholzer’s apparent opposition to Atlanta’s rebuild and the organization’s willingness to allow him to walk away if the situation presents itself. The Post reports that Budenholzer “appears so disillusioned” with Atlanta’s current organizational direction and, on the flip side, the Hawks have skepticism that going through their potentially lengthy rebuild with Budenholzer at the helm is the right decision.
As noted with regard to other theoretical propositions with the Suns and Bucks (in the future), the Hawks have reportedly indicated a desire to extract compensation should Budenholzer agree to an offer elsewhere. However, this particular report speculates that cash considerations could be all that is on the table for Atlanta, citing a financial motivation (Budenholzer is owed more than $13 million for the next two seasons) to simply allow the head coach to walk away.
Because there are so many hurdles between the current set-up and Budenholzer actually taking another position, reports have indicated that Travis Schlenk “hasn’t ruled out” a return from the head coach. Still, nuggets like the ones included here from the New York Post are potentially revealing and, while it doesn’t appear to be a lock that the Knicks will actually offer the job to Budenholzer, every passing report makes the situation in Atlanta seem less desirable for all parties.