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Knicks improve offer to Steve Kerr with fourth guaranteed season

Adrian Wojnarowski
Yahoo Sports
TNT commentator and former Chicago Bulls and San Antonio Spurs guard Steve Kerr broadcasts courtside for Game 4 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series between the Toronto Raptors and the Brooklyn Nets, Sunday, April 27, 2014, in New York. Kerr said Sunday he spoke with New York Knicks President Phil Jackson twice over the weekend and that they will continue discussing his potential of becoming coach of the team
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TNT commentator and former Chicago Bulls and San Antonio Spurs guard Steve Kerr broadcasts courtside for Game 4 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series between the Toronto Raptors and the Brooklyn Nets, Sunday, April 27, 2014, in New York. Kerr said Sunday he spoke with New York Knicks President Phil Jackson twice over the weekend and that they will continue discussing his potential of becoming coach of the team. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

After resisting for weeks, the New York Knicks offered Steve Kerr a fourth guaranteed season on a proposed contract, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

The Knicks had been holding firm on three guaranteed years and a team option for a fourth until consenting to the Kerr's wishes late Tuesday, league sources said.

Within the Knicks organization, there was a sense a deal with Kerr wouldn't get done until the team met that concession. For a franchise that has long shown little inhibition in delivering lucrative management and coaching contracts, this seems to be a far more restrained negotiation process on New York's part.

Several other teams pursuing Kerr – including Golden State – had already met that condition in contract length, front-office sources said.

Kerr has narrowed his coaching choices to the Knicks and Golden State Warriors, and a decision is expected soon. Executives involved in the process insist there's no bidding war in play, and that Kerr has simply been weighing the two stark differences in the job: a contender in his California home; and a rebuilding project with his old coach, Knicks president Phil Jackson, at Madison Square Garden.

The Warriors management group lost out on Stan Van Gundy to a $35 million deal to run the Detroit Pistons, and flew to Oklahoma City on Tuesday to meet with Kerr. The Warriors left more convinced of Kerr's readiness to coach the franchise, league sources said, and Kerr had a chance to further familiarize himself with the entire Warriors front office.

Still, Kerr's relationship with Jackson is the strongest bond in the process, and New York has had a significant head start in recruiting Kerr to Madison Square Garden. Kerr, 48, is expected to implement Jackson's famed triangle offense with the Knicks and construct a roster through a shared vision.

Kerr was general manager of the Phoenix Suns for three years before returning to television in 2011.

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