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If the NBA continues its postseason this summer, the Knicks almost certainly won't be a part of it after a seventh consecutive losing campaign. New York's season is effectively over - and its search for a head coach is fully underway.
Tom Thibodeau is the leading candidate for the job, according to The Athletic's Mike Vorkunov and Shams Charania, and oddsmakers have installed him as a comfortable -200 favorite to land the gig. He's followed by the usual cast of characters, led by former player Mark Jackson (+450) and ex-Nets coach Kenny Atkinson (+500).
Here are the odds for New York's next coach with a few potential value bets:
|Jeff Van Gundy||+1200|
On the surface, this is an ideal pairing. Thibobeau is looking to return to coaching, and he's been reported to have interest in the job as far back as 2016. His grind-it-out defensive approach would seemingly fit the Knicks' gritty group of power forwards and young castoffs, and his proven track record of turning around struggling squads would be appealing.
Is it worth the price, though? In a fluid situation, laying -200 on any coach without more smoke is a bad value proposition. Keep your eye on Thibodeau, who's currently the lead candidate, but don't put all your eggs in that basket in case things change quickly.
Jackson's name has been floated for years; we even wrote about him opening as the betting favorite for this job back in December, when former coach David Fizdale was canned midseason. His odds have shortened from +500 to +450 despite little buzz to suggest his momentum in the coaching search. Until he lands an interview, at least, keep fading him.
In the report from The Athletic, Atkinson is mentioned among the coaches whom the Knicks will interview for the job. If that goes well, he's a slam-dunk hire. The former Brooklyn coach squeezed every ounce of potential out of the Nets' roster in his time there, and he's familiar with the pressures of the New York market. At 5-1, there's real value here.
It's not sexy, but betting on the incumbent is almost always a solid value play, and this is the best bet on the board. Miller left a "strong impression" on the Knicks' front office, per The Athletic, after steering the team out of a 4-18 hole early in the year. He'll have every chance to keep this job, which makes his 6-1 price very attractive this early in the process.
C Jackson Cowart is a betting writer for theScore. He's an award-winning journalist with stops at The Charlotte Observer, The San Diego Union-Tribune, The Times Herald-Record, and BetChicago. He's also a proud graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill, and his love of sweet tea is rivaled only by that of a juicy prop bet. Find him on Twitter @CJacksonCowart.