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NBA Rumors: Knicks Break the Bank for Phil Jackson

The Knicks have reportedly landed Phil Jackson, but he didn’t come cheap… Kobe Bryant’s season over… Spurs made play for Evan Turner…

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Jackson joining Knicks?

Phil Jackson has reached an agreement in principle to oversee the Knicks basketball operations and “president’’ will be in his title, according to a league source.

All that’s left is the lawyers finalizing the last contract details by week’s end before Jackson officially returns to the organization that drafted him and where he won two titles as a player.

Via Marc Berman of the New York Post

Despite recent reports that Phil Jackson could actually be using the Knicks as leverage for a better deal elsewhere, perhaps with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Detroit Pistons or ever Los Angeles Lakers, it looks like the Knicks have finally gotten their guy.

According to Frank Isola of the New York Daily News, Jackson could earn in excess of $15 million per year while being able to work remotely with a general manager of his choosing handling the day-to-day operations. Steve Mills currently holds that position, but could be relocated once Jackson takes over.

Jackson is also expected to bring in a new head coach, with Steve Kerr appearing to be early favorite for the position. However, Kerr’s colleague Charles Barkley scoffed at the idea, saying Kerr isn’t stupid and that he wouldn’t get on the “titanic”.

This is a high-risk, high-reward move for the Knicks. You don’t break the bank for Jackson without championship aspirations, but the Knicks are seemingly a year removed away from being able to make serious upgrades. Jackson is a proven winner, though, and his hiring will bring some instant credibility to a franchise in desperate need of it.

Kobe’s season likely over

The words are about to become official. Kobe Bryant, out for the season. The Los Angeles Lakers are expected to declare Bryant out for the rest of the 2013-14 Lakers season later this week, according to team sources. Bryant is not accompanying the team on its trip to Oklahoma City and San Antonio, staying back to be reexamined by team doctor Steve Lombardo. And considering where Bryant’s level of discomfort remains with the fractured lateral tibial plateau in his left knee, barring an unforeseen change, the team will finalize the decision that Bryant will not play again this season –

via Kevin Ding of Bleacher Report

If Bryant is indeed done for the season, his 2013-14 campaign will have consisted of just six games due to the combination of his Achilles and knee. When he originally went down last season, there were suggestions that Bryant should sit out the year in order to fully recover, but that’s just now how he operates. He wanted to prove a point that he could once again defy regular timetables for recovery, and he did so, but only to be undercut by another serious injury shortly after.

Coming up on 36 years of age in August, a year off isn’t the worst thing for one of the hardest working individuals to ever play the game. It’s going to be interesting to see if he can come close to justifying the sizable two-year extension the Lakers gave him earlier this season. At 22-42 the Lakers have sorely missed their superstar, but there’s no telling how the team is going to look when he steps out on the floor next year. They’re equipped with cap space and several open roster spots, so changes around Bryant seem inevitable.

Spurs tried to trade for Evan Turner

It emerged shortly after trade deadline that San Antonio tried hard to make deadline-day play for Evan Turner. Funny how things work out

Via Marc Stein of ESPN on Twitter

It’s scary to imagine how good Evan Turner would have fit into the Spurs, and it’s not like he was well out of their price range, but in the end Philadelphia favored Indy’s offer of second round picks and Danny Granger. The Spurs had a late first round pick to offer along with the expiring contracts of Boris Diaw and Matt Bonner.

Things have been a bit rocky for the Pacers since the acquisition of Turner, although they did get back on track Tuesday night, aided by Andrew Bynum’s strong 10-rebound debut in limited minutes.

Meanwhile, the Spurs quiet deadline (they did acquire Austin Daye) has not held them back from looking like one of the league’s best recently. They’ve won 10 of their last 11, including wins against the Chicago Bulls and Miami HEAT.

Yannis Koutroupis is Basketball Insiders' Managing Site Editor and Senior Writer. He has been covering the NBA and NCAA for seven years.

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