- Ian Begley, ESPN Staff Writer
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Negotiations to finalize an agreement between Steve Kerr and the New York Knicks are progressing toward the final stages, sources close to the talks confirmed to ESPN New York.
In the wake of ESPN.com's report Saturday that the Warriors fear Kerr is "too deep" into talks with the Knicks to take the Golden State job, one source told ESPN New York that negotiations between Kerr and the Knicks are "pretty far down the road."
Another league source with knowledge of the talks said Sunday the discussions would "pick up" on Monday.
The New York Daily News first reported Sunday that the Knicks and Kerr are close to a deal. The paper reported that the two sides are optimistic that a deal would be in place early this week and Kerr may accompany Jackson to Chicago for the NBA draft combine, which begins Thursday.
Kerr has been huddling with family members in advance of his next TV assignment with TNT: Tuesday's Game 5 of the Oklahoma City-Los Angeles Clippers series. A timetable for striking a deal with the Knicks remains unclear, but one source said Sunday evening that Kerr and the Knicks were "getting closer" to an agreement. So a decision could be made early this week.
Kerr's agent, Mike Tannenbaum, is in negotiations with the Knicks. He did not return calls for comment Sunday.
But it appears that Kerr is deciding between coaching the Knicks and returning to work as a broadcaster for TNT.
ESPN.com reported on Saturday that the Warriors are increasingly pessimistic about their chances of convincing Kerr to turn down the Knicks in favor of Golden State. The Warriors are well aware that Kerr's relationship with Knicks president Phil Jackson gives New York an edge.
Kerr is the only coach Jackson has interviewed for the head coaching vacancy, which was created when Jackson fired Mike Woodson and his coaching staff shortly after the end of the regular season.
Contract details weren't immediately available Sunday.
Earlier this month, one iteration of a Kerr deal discussed was a five-year contract worth $25 million, according to a source with knowledge of the talks. But terms have likely changed several times since then, considering the Warriors had shown interest in Kerr.
Kerr has never coached before but served as general manager of the Phoenix Suns between 2007-2010. He also won three titles while playing for Jackson in Chicago. And Kerr's relationship with Jackson is one of the prime factors in his attraction to the Knicks job.
A league source told ESPNNewYork.com's Ian O'Connor last week that Kerr's respect for Jackson outweighed the lure of taking a Golden State job that would leave him closer to his California-based family.
"Unless something changes," the source said, "the relationship with Jackson is a very big part of this, and that's the way it looks like it will go."
The Utah Jazz had also expressed interest in Kerr, a source told ESPN.com's Marc Stein.
The Los Angeles Lakers also have a head-coaching vacancy, but, as of last week, Kerr wasn't giving Los Angeles strong consideration, according to a source with knowledge of Kerr's thinking.
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