Knicks general manager Donnie Walsh will ultimately be the one to decide whether he will remain with the team next season, league sources told the New York Post Tuesday.
The option on the final year of Walsh's contract can be picked up by the Knicks starting April 30, but it is unclear whether the 70-year-old wants to return. His contract doesn't expire until June 30, so the option deadline could pass without resolution.
"My dream from Day one was to put this team on the path to a championship level," Walsh said. "I don't think it's there now, but we're getting close. That's what I said I'd do in three years. That's what I've done."
The Knicks clinched their first playoff berth in seven years with Sunday's win over Cleveland.
One NBA source told the Post that money is not an issue in Walsh's decision.
Walsh had mixed feelings on gutting the team in the Carmelo Anthony deal, but his three-year rebuilding plan clearly has been a success. Knicks owner James Dolan appeared giddy after Sunday's clincher, walking into the locker room to shake each player's hand.
"Everybody wants to mock the Knicks because they don't want to see them get good," said Walsh. "In Indiana, I didn't want to see the Knicks get good, because they could be good for a long time."
"We're on the way now, yeah. We've got a core group that can be the makings of a very good team," said Walsh, sounding like a man who could walk away content in a job well done.
During the Anthony negotiations, Walsh and the Knicks were dogged by reports that former team president Isiah Thomas had taken the lead in the trade talks. Other reports indicated that Walsh was against sending so many players to Denver to obtain Anthony.