Sources tell KSR that while the Knicks have yet to officially contact Payne, the franchise is considering the longtime Kentucky assistant as an option to join Thibodeau’s staff.
Outside of his success in developing elite great men, sources tell KSR the Knicks are intrigued by Payne’s ability to recruit former Kentucky stars such as Karl-Anthony Towns and Devin Booker in New York City. when they become free agents in the future.
Friday, Stephen Bondy from New York Daily News initially flagged Payne as an option for the Knicks, but only if the franchise has hired 10-time NBA All-Star Jason Kidd as their head coach. The same report also mentioned former British 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 contract with Thibodeau, who has previously coached the Chicago Bulls and Minnesota Timberwolves.