Reports say Knicks assistant coach Kenny Payne is a finalist...

Reports say Knicks assistant coach Kenny Payne is a finalist for the DePaul job. Credit: AP/Michael Woods

Knicks assistant coach Kenny Payne, who joined the team this season after a long tenure as an assistant at Kentucky alongside John Calipari, has received a lot of credit from players for his work on their development this season. But there are reports that he could be out shortly.

According to multiple reports, Payne is a front-runner for the DePaul coaching job, where he would reunite with DePaul athletic director DeWayne Peevy, who worked at Kentucky with him for years. While Yahoo! Sports' Jeff Goodman said that Payne is the target, the Chicago Tribune reported that the school could also interview Loyola Chicago’s Porter Moser when the team finishes its NCAA Tournament run.

There have also been reports that Knicks associate head coach Johnnie Bryant could be in the mix for the Utah job and Mike Woodson is under consideration for his alma mater, Indiana.

"I think all my staff is terrific and they’ll be recognized," Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau said. "And they’re all deserving of opportunities. So anytime someone has an opportunity to advance we’ll certainly allow them to interview. Not only Kenny, but Mike Woodson, Johnnie Bryant, Darren Erman, Andy Greer, they’re all terrific coaches and they’re all deserving of head coaching opportunities.

"Anytime someone has an opportunity to advance we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it. We also have a great … great player development staff where we have some really bright young guys that are coming along. So I’m very pleased with our staff, we have a great teaching staff. We have a number of guys that could step up."

Rose remains out

Derrick Rose has been cleared to practice, but he remained sidelined Tuesday as he works through the health and safety protocols process.

"He’s still working his way through protocol," Thibodeau said. "He’s been cleared. He’s doing more each day. We’ll just take it day by day with him."

Robinson stays in

When Mitchell Robinson was rehabilitating his fractured right hand he was anxiously trying to push his way back into the lineup, so it was no surprise that the sprained left ankle he suffered Sunday wasn’t about to sideline him.

Robinson said that he received treatment after the game Sunday and was ready to play, hoping to shake off the rust of more than five weeks on the sidelines before Sunday’s return.

"It was alright getting back out there," Robinson said. "I just have to get back into shape, like game-playing shape. I’ve been running a lot. Just have to get back to myself as of game playing shape. But it felt great, getting back out there with the guys."