Even though his pursuit of Donovan Mitchell fell through, Knicks president Leon Rose said on Friday in a television interview that he’s “thrilled” with the roster heading into training camp, relays Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News. Bondy points out that Rose made his comments to MSG Network, which is owned by Knicks owner James Dolan. Under Dolan’s direction, the team has been boycotting outside media apart from sessions that are mandated by the league.
“We went through that process (of trying to trade for Mitchell) and at the end of the day we made a decision to stay put,” Rose said. “And we’re thrilled with where we are. Taking a look at the summer, we feel great about what transpired.”
Rose emphasized “internal stability” that was created by re-signing Mitchell Robinson, giving RJ Barrett a four-year, $107MM extension that carries the largest yearly salary in team history and retaining the team’s 11 first-round picks over the next seven years. Rose also touted the free agency addition of Jalen Brunson, who is being counted on to solve a long-standing problem at point guard.
“He fills one of the biggest voids that we have. The starting point guard,” Rose said. “That is such an important role on our team. We needed that person that was going stabilize us.”
There’s more from New York:
- Even though he got his extension, Barrett was treated poorly by the Knicks this summer, Bondy contends in a separate story. Barrett had to listen to weeks of rumors that he was headed to Utah as part of the package for Mitchell, and Bondy called the eventual extension announcement “sloppy” because it was tweeted by the team shortly after news broke that Mitchell was headed to Cleveland. The Knicks also didn’t have a press conference to celebrate Barrett’s extension because of Dolan’s media blackout.
- Coach Tom Thibodeau may start to feel some heat if the Knicks get off to a bad start, Bondy adds. Thibodeau was criticized last year for not trusting his young players, and he may become an easy scapegoat for management.
- Zach Braziller of The New York Post (subscription required) grades the Knicks’ offseason moves, giving high marks to the addition of Brunson (B+) and the signing of backup center Isaiah Hartenstein (A-). He was less enthusiastic about the decision to hang onto draft assets instead of cashing them in for Mitchell (C+) and cites the risks of giving $60MM over four years to Robinson considering his injury history (C-).