In a surprise development, even if he joins the Knicks, Kerr has decided to finish out the TNT playoff run with his partner Marv Albert straight through the Western Conference finals (which end in late May), according to an NBA source.
Sources have indicated for days the Kerr sweepstakes would wrap up by week’s end. Kerr and Albert are not scheduled to do another game together until Tuesday’s Game 5 at Oklahoma City, giving Kerr time to finalize his decision.
According to another source who spoke to Kerr, he may still be waiting on a formal, written offer from the Knicks.
It is believed Kerr was seeking a five-year offer to match the length of Jackson’s contract. When Mike D’Antoni was hired in 2008, he signed a four-year, $24 million pact. Kerr is believed to be seeking something in that neighborhood, possibly with a fifth-year team option.
The source said Kerr was only concerned because he hadn’t seen a written offer yet, but Knicks owner James Dolan isn’t known to penny-pinch for a head coach. Dolan may have to pay more to have Kerr to live across the country from his home.
“His first choice is to be with Phil, but if it doesn’t work out contract-wise, he’d be very interested in Golden State as a fall-back,’’ the source said.
According to another NBA source, Kerr was supposed to speak with Warriors and Knicks officials Thursday while also relaxing following his long TNT road trip. The Warriors were expected to speak to other candidates, including Stan Van Gundy.
The Jazz made an inquiry, but Kerr isn’t pursuing it. The Lakers were never in the picture, the source said.
Suns owner Robert Sarver, who hired Kerr as GM after he was part of the original ownership group, believes he’ll be as successful a coach as Jeff Hornacek, who had no head-coaching experience before taking over in Phoenix this season.
“One thing made the Suns successful this year is our coach got the most out of his players,’’ Sarver said. “Some of that had to do with X’s and O’s and the other was how to relate to the players. I see that type of quality in Steve.’’
Kerr will have to divest ownership in the Suns once he signs a contract.
“If he does take a job as head coach, it will be the time,’’ Sarver said. “He won’t take it unless it is the right time. He knows himself well and knows the business well. He knows what’s entailed in the job.’’Follow @exnbadotcom
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