William Wesley Rumors
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is both and he agreed to sign with the Knicks on a one-year, non-guaranteed deal, according to a source. The forward has a long association with Knicks top executive Worldwide Wes, who grew up with Kidd-Gilchrist’s mother and is referred to as ‘Uncle Wes’ by the 27-year-old. “We’re so close he calls my mom ‘Mom,’” Kidd-Gilchrist’s mother, Cindy Richardson, said about Worldwide Wes leading up to the 2012 draft.
Rose also hired William Wesley for a role in the front office, who was his colleague at CAA. “There’s also a real fear in the NBA,” said Bill Simmons. “I’m fine talking about this. It’s rumor, heresy stuff. But it’s just a fact. Kentucky, Worldwide Wes had a great relationship with John Calipari. CAA’s got multiple Kentucky guys and there’s a real fear in the league that the Knicks are going to become the Kentucky pipeline team. “Devin Booker is a great example of that, right? Even though he’s on a big deal right now, at some point if he wanted to move out of there... “The league is kind of watching the Kentucky factor with that team.
Given Payne’s salary at Kentucky, it’s safe to assume that the Knicks would have to make a generous offer procure the coach. Would that set the market internally for what they’d have to pay other Thibodeau assistants? That’s unclear, but something worth keeping in mind as the Knicks put a staff together. Payne, as previously noted, has a close relationship with top Knicks executive William Wesley and has other ties to the Knicks organization. He has been known to coach big men at Kentucky, including Minnesota’s Karl-Anthony Towns. “KP is one of the best development coaches in the world,” Towns told The Athletic last year. “KP is the horse beneath the jockey driving Kentucky basketball.”
Jeff Goodman: Kentucky associate head coach Kenny Payne is weighing an offer to join the New York Knicks organization, source told @Stadium. Payne has strong ties to new Knicks executive William Wesley and also Leon Rose.
Knicks president Leon Rose and agent Spencer Breecker of CAA Sports were working Saturday to complete contractual terms and a signed agreement is expected in the near future, sources said. Rose and executive VP William Wesley are completing a two-month search process with the candidate, Thibodeau, long expected to emerge with the job. Together, they’ll be tasked with the daunting challenge of restoring a forlorn franchise to NBA relevance.
Steve Popper: Knicks and Thibodeau, as @Adrian Wojnarowski reported, expected to finalize a deal early this week with an announcement coming later in the week. Contracts not signed yet, but heading in that direction.