Knicks Plan To Hire Leon Rose As Head Of Basketball Operations

The Knicks and CAA player agent Leon Rose are nearing a deal that would make him the team’s new head of basketball operations, league sources tell Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, who reported with Ramona Shelburne that Rose had become a top target for the Knicks, confirms that the team plans to hire the veteran agent as its next president (Twitter links). Ian Begley of first reported (via Twitter) that the Knicks had interest in Rose.

As Wojnarowski details (via Twitter), Rose has been one of the NBA’s top agents for years and has a star-studded list of clients that includes Joel Embiid, Chris Paul, Devin Booker, and Karl-Anthony Towns. The Knicks have plenty of experience dealing with Rose, as he also represents Carmelo Anthony.

Rose is expected to assume control of a front office that was previously run by Steve Mills, who was dismissed from his position as president of basketball operations earlier this week.

General manager Scott Perry took over as the top man in New York’s front office on an interim basis following Mills’ ouster, and he appears to be running the show for today’s trade deadline. He and the Knicks have a mutual option for 2020/21, meaning both sides would have to pick up that option for Perry to remain with the team, so we’ll see how that situation plays out. Newsday’s Steve Popper (Twitter link) hears that Perry is not expected to stay on under the new regime.

William Wesley, better known as “World Wide Wes,” is a strong candidate to join the Knicks’ front office under Rose, a source tells Begley (Twitter link). Wes, who is well-connected with players around the NBA, is a CAA consultant and has a strong relationship with Rose, according to Begley.

After firing Mills, the Knicks were immediately linked to Raptors president of basketball operations Masai Ujiri, who has long been considered New York’s dream candidate. However, given how quickly New York moved forward on its front office search, it seems as if Ujiri wasn’t a serious option, despite rumblings that he might have interest in the job.

Begley had reported this morning (via Twitter) that there was “serious pessimism” surrounding the Knicks’ pursuit of Ujiri, in part due to the compensation that would have been required to get him out of his Raptors contract. With the Knicks moving in another direction, fans in Toronto can rest easy.

Before deciding on Rose, the Knicks were said to be considering a handful of other player agents as they look to emulate a model that has succeeded for the Warriors and Lakers, who hired former agents Bob Myers and Rob Pelinka, respectively.

Austin Brown and Roger Montgomery were among the agents reportedly receiving consideration from the Knicks, along with B.J. Armstrong, as Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News reported this morning (via Twitter).

Once Rose is officially hired by the Knicks, one of his first tasks this spring will be making a decision on the team’s head coach. Mike Miller has held that position on an interim basis since replacing David Fizdale earlier in the season.

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27 thoughts on “Knicks Plan To Hire Leon Rose As Head Of Basketball Operations

  1. Carmelo’s agent, wow. Hope it works out but if it doesn’t, this is going to be pilloried as a classic Dolan move.

  2. Norm Chouinard

    Glad they are nearing a deal. Still 3+ hours until the trade deadline. Plenty of time.

  3. goldenmisfit

    James Dolan wants to be able to copy the model that was set by the Warriors and Lakers where they appointed as head of basketball operations a former agent. The only problem with that plan is at least with the Warriors and Lakers they have ownership who is competent enough and knowledgeable enough about basketball to be able to work with the head of operations. In the case of New York their owner is really by nature a hockey guy and does not know all that much about basketball something he has proven in the 20 years he has owned this franchise.

  4. diller1340

    This could either be the best thing possible for the knicks or it could blow up in their faces….

  5. Skip, Tampa

    Excellent top flight hire for Dolan. Got to give him credit for that.
    Now it’s just a matter of him stepping back and letting Rose run the team.
    First move is Randle, Porter, 2020 1st #1 protected for Russell by 3pm today.

    • C-Daddy

      Getting DLo is exactly what the Knicks shouldn’t do. Why trade draft assets for a good but not great player that won’t impact winning?

    • x%sure

      Getting three r1s for Ujiri + Webster would have been better, given NY’s position, but I doubt Dolan would consider having to do that. Even two r1s, probably even one r1. He would prefer using money.
      Hit like in error

  6. Nebraska Tim

    Can’t get turned down if you never ask…

    Nice of some media to push the false narrative that Ujiri would ever have been interested in the Knicks job (with Dolan as the owner).

    If anything, Ujiri jumps ship to run a soccer team or the African basketball league, letting Bobby Webster fully take over the show in Toronto.

    • x%sure

      It would have been the NY-y thing to do, a big power play, but Dolan did the California-inspired thing instead. Interesting in the big picture.

  7. Skip, Tampa

    Yepper, Portis, my bad. Guess to make the money work they could send DSJ, a 2nd or 2 for Looney.
    Rose is just great hire.

  8. El Don

    Agree with Rose, he is a great hire. The one thing you can be sure of is that agents know a lot about other players. That could very well be the beginning of something special in NYC.
    Hopefully many more teams will follow suit by hiring more agents.

  9. Rose has the gravitas that Dolan wanted, and the MSG – CAA relationship is a long one, across entertainment. Each knows the other (and at least think they know what they’re getting into). We’ll see what’s intended. Long term or a guy (quasi-friend) who will clean up the organizational structure. Either way, good to get it done quickly and under the radar. Hard with the Knicks in NYC.

    Rose did a good job of sticking it to the Knicks when he helped impose the Melo trade on us. Now maybe he can use his skills to help the team. Have to have hope, at least until there’s a reason not to.

    • x%sure

      Under-the-radar may have been a point.
      So much for being in a hurry and getting it done by spring!! For instance if this was done on-the-radar, I would look that up to see who to laugh at.

  10. GabeOfThrones

    I think him and World Wide Wes would be a great combo. They’re plugged into the league’s star players in a way no one in the front office has ever been. Hopefully Perry is gone as part of this.

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