Kentucky associate head coach Kenny Payne is being considered by the New York Knicks for one of its assistant coach openings under new head coach Tom Thibodeau.
Sources tell KSR that while the Knicks have not yet officially contacted Payne, the franchise is considering the longtime Kentucky assistant as an option to join Thibodeau’s staff.
Outside of his success developing elite big men, sources tell KSR that the Knicks are intrigued with Payne’s ability to recruit former Kentucky stars such as Karl-Anthony Towns and Devin Booker to New York when they become free agents in the future.
On Friday, Stephen Bondy of the New York Daily News first reported Payne as an option for the Knicks, but only if the franchise hired 10-time NBA All-Star Jason Kidd as its head coach. The same report also mentioned former UK assistant Rod Strickland and former Knicks coach Mike Woodson as other options to join Kidd’s staff in New York.
Instead, the franchise is finalizing a five-year deal with Thibodeau, who previously coached the Chicago Bulls and the Minnesota Timberwolves.