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Source: Knicks prefer 4-year deal for Kerr

5/13/2014

Negotiations between Steve Kerr and the New York Knicks continued on Monday, but the two sides could not reach a deal, according to a league source. Negotiations are expected to continue Tuesday as the Knicks and Kerr try to finalize a contract that will make the TNT broadcaster the next coach at Madison Square Garden.

Contract details are unclear at this point. One contract figure discussed earlier this month was a five-year deal worth $25 million, according to a league source with knowledge of the talks. That figure was talked about before Kerr drew interest from the Golden State Warriors.

One source with knowledge of the talks said Monday that the Knicks’ preference is to ink Kerr to a four-year contract.

A five-year deal would give Kerr the same contract length as Knicks president Phil Jackson, though the final year in Kerr’s deal may contain a team option.

Nonetheless, a league source on Sunday said that the Knicks and Kerr were “getting closer” but did not offer any definitive timetable on a decision.

Kerr huddled with his family in San Diego over the weekend to talk about his options and traveled to Oklahoma City on Monday in advance of Game 5 of the Thunder-Clippers series. Kerr is scheduled to call the game on Tuesday night for TNT.

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 on Sunday that negotiations between Kerr and the Knicks are "pretty far down the road."

The Jazz have also shown interest in Kerr, according to 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.

The Cavaliers on Monday fired head coach Mike Brown. Cavs GM David Griffin has a relationship with Kerr. The two worked together when Kerr served as GM of the Suns from 2007-10. Now that Cleveland has a coaching vacancy, the Cavs may have interest in Kerr.

Kerr's agent, Mike Tannenbaum, is dealing in negotiations directly with the Knicks. He did not return calls for comment on Monday.

But it appears that Kerr is deciding between coaching the Knicks and returning to work as a broadcaster for TNT.

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."

You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.