Brock Aller

Knicks Notes: Thibodeau, Van Gundy, Miller, Woodson

Former Knicks coach Jeff Van Gundy believes the organization is making the right choice in Tom Thibodeau, writes Marc Berman of The New York Post. Thibodeau, who is close to finalizing a five-year agreement with the team, was brought to New York as an assistant by Van Gundy in 1996.

“I’m extremely happy for Tom and equally happy for the Knicks as they hired an elite coach who will give everything he has to turn the Knicks around,” the ABC/ESPN broadcaster said.

New York began its search June 4 and talked to 11 candidates. However, many were considered to be courtesy interviews as Thibodeau was reportedly a strong favorite all along. Berman points out that five of the candidates — Ime Udoka, Wes Hardy, Chris Fleming, Pat Delaney and Jamahl Mosley — have no experience as NBA head coaches.

“Tom has always been their guy,” a source told Berman.

There’s more news on the Knicks:

  • The Knicks first offered the job to Thibodeau on Thursday morning, Berman tweets. He responded with a counter offer later in the day, but they didn’t make significant progress toward an agreement until Saturday.
  • Thibodeau should have plenty of time to prepare for a proposed group workout next month involving the eight teams not in Orlando, Berman writes in a separate story. Knicks president Leon Rose supports the idea of the gathering so the young roster can learn the new coach’s system, but isn’t in favor of scrimmages with other teams.
  • Interim coach Mike Miller and former Knicks head coach Mike Woodson both have “strong internal support” to be part of Thibodeau’s staff, sources tell Ian Begley of SNY.tv. Among those conducting the interviews along with Rose were executive vice president and senior advisor William “World Wide Wes” Wesley, general manager Scott Perry, and vice president of basketball and strategic planning Brock Aller.
  • The Knicks’ new management team has long supported Thibodeau, and the only real alternative would have been John Calipari if he had been willing to leave Kentucky, a source tells Steve Popper of Newsday.
  • Ed Pinckney, Andy Greer and Rick Brunson served as assistants to Thibodeau in both Chicago and Minnesota and should be considered candidates to join his staff in New York, notes Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic, who also hears that Miller may be retained to provide some continuity. Vorkunov speculates that the hiring of Thibodeau means the Knicks aren’t interested in a long rebuilding process.

Knicks Notes: Thibodeau, Kidd, Hardy, Labeyrie

As the Knicks‘ head coaching search continues, presumed frontrunner Tom Thibodeau has received an endorsement from a former Knicks All-Star, as Adam Zagoria of Forbes writes. Patrick Ewing praised Thibodeau during an appearance on SiriusXM NBA Radio with hosts Frank Isola and Sarah Kustok.

“I think Tom’s a great coach,” Ewing said. “I had the opportunity to (play for him), him being on the (Knicks’) staff when I played, and also work with him. He’s been around for a lot of years, he knows the game in and out. He’s gonna do everything that he needs to do in terms of having his team prepared to play every night. I think he’d be a great candidate for that job.”

Although Thibodeau is just one of 11 candidates being considered by the Knicks, reports last month indicated that he was viewed as a favorite for the job. Zagoria also hears from multiple sources that New York is expected to hire someone with previous head coaching experience.

Here’s more on the Knicks:

  • The Knicks’ coaching candidates had an initial round of conversations with a group that included president of basketball operations Leon Rose, general manager Scott Perry, and VP of basketball and strategic planning Brock Aller, sources tell Ian Begley of SNY.tv. Each candidate will have a more in-depth conversation with the team during its second round of meetings, Begley adds.
  • According to Marc Berman of The New York Post, two of the Knicks’ head coaching interviews took place on Thursday, with the team talking to Jason Kidd and Spurs assistant Will Hardy. Those interviews were why the Knicks didn’t take part in the NBA’s Thursday conference call with its bottom eight teams about a possible Chicago campus for offseason mini-camps and exhibition games.
  • Speaking of that proposed Chicago campus, the Knicks aren’t fully on board with that plan, according to Berman, who notes that the club doesn’t have much interest in playing formal games this offseason, especially since many veterans on the roster will be free agents and likely wouldn’t participate. New York is one of a handful of those bottom eight teams that would prefer to hold OTAs in its own home market to evaluate young players.
  • French forward Louis Labeyrie, a second-round pick in the 2014 NBA draft, has agreed to extend his contract with Valencia in Spain for at least two more seasons, as Dario Skerletic of Sportando relays. The Knicks have held Labeyrie’s NBA rights since ’14, but it seems increasingly unlikely that the 28-year-old will come stateside.

Knicks Officially Hire Perrin, Extend Perry

The Knicks have officially hired Walt Perrin as their assistant GM for college scouting and given GM Scott Perry a one-year extension through next season, the team announced in a press release.

Perrin’s decision to leave the Jazz and join the Knicks’ front office came to light on May 18. Perrin spent nearly two decades in Utah. He was initially hired as the team’s director player personnel before eventually being promoted to vice president of player personnel. Prior to joining the Jazz in 2001, he was a scout in Minnesota and Detroit, holding the title of director of college scouting with the Pistons.

News of Perry’s extension was reported nearly a month ago and confirmed today by team president Leon Rose.

The Knicks have also hired Brock Aller as VP of basketball and strategic planning and Frank Zanin as an assistant GM for pro scouting.

“We have assembled a diverse front office comprised of highly regarded and experienced basketball executives who have influenced some of the most successful players and organizations in the league,” Rose said in the press release. “These additions will complement the structure we already have in place and assist us in acquiring talent and developing strategies to build a team our fans can be proud of.”

Aller spent the last seven seasons with the Cavaliers in various roles. He has been their senior director of basketball operations since July 2017. He was also in the Pistons organization for nine years.

Zanin joins the Knicks after three years as a pro scout with the  Thunder. He previously held the title of assistant GM with the Nets.

Knicks Notes: Ball, Smith Jr., Playoffs, Aller

LaMelo Ball tops the Knicks‘ wish list for this year’s draft, according to Marc Berman of The New York Post. A 6’7″ playmaker who spent this season with the Illawarra Hawks in the NBL, Ball would solve New York’s long search for a point guard. However, unless they get some lottery luck, the Knicks would have to trade up to land Ball, who is expected to be among the first players selected.

Berman notes that new team president Leon Rose has experience in dealing with Ball’s controversial father LaVar during his time with Creative Artists Agency. League insiders told Berman that LaVar likes the idea of his son playing in a big market and will attempt to work behind the scenes to get him to New York.

If the Knicks’ pick remains in the 6-10 range, Berman expects Cole AnthonyTyrese Haliburton, Killian Hayes and Tyrese Maxey to all be considered, along with trading down to target RJ Hampton or Kira Lewis.

There’s more from New York:

  • The Knicks would like to part with Dennis Smith Jr.‘s $5.7MM salary for next season if they can put together a trade involving Chris Paul, Berman adds in the same story. The Thunder guard will make $41.36MM in 2020/21, so accommodating his salary would require sending out some contracts. Berman suggests that Kevin Knox ($4.6MM), whom Rose hasn’t committed to keeping, and Frank Ntilikina ($6.2MM) could also be included.
  • A “playoffs plus” scenario being considered in a survey of general managers could leave the Knicks out in the cold, Berman observes in a separate story. New York currently ranks 12th in the East, so it wouldn’t be included if seeds seven through 10 are involved in play-in games for postseason spots.
  • Plenty of people around the league believe Brock Aller will make a difference in the Knicks’ front office, writes Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic. Aller left the Cavaliers last month to become VP of strategy in New York. “He’s a big-picture guy who is also a diabolical genius from a cap standpoint,” said David Griffin, VP of basketball operations for the Pelicans, who formerly served as general manager in Cleveland.

Knicks Notes: M. Jackson, Paul, Aller, Robinson

Former Warriors head coach Mark Jackson admits he dreams of getting another NBA coaching opportunity, but added that he won’t be upset if it doesn’t happen, writes Ian Begley of SNY.tv. During an appearance this week on ESPN’s First Take, Jackson talked about his experiences in Golden State and shared his opinions on other head coaches, including Steve Kerr and Tom Thibodeau.

[RELATED: Mark Jackson Says He Wants To Coach Again]

Jackson, who grew up in New York City and played for the Knicks, was a candidate to take over the team before David Fizdale was hired two years ago. Begley isn’t certain how strongly he would be considered if the Knicks decide to replace interim coach Mike Miller, but adds that Jackson still has supporters in the organization. Jackson is reportedly being considered by the Nets as well and has a strong relationship with Rich Kleiman, Kevin Durant‘s business partner and manager.

Begley also notes that Jackson wanted to hire his current broadcast partner, Jeff Van Gundy, who is also under consideration to become the Knicks coach, as his top assistant with the Warriors.

There’s more from New York:

  • The financial fallout from the NBA’s hiatus may make it easier for the Knicks to trade for a star such as Thunder guard Chris Paul, suggests Marc Berman of The New York Post. Paul was the favorite client of new president of basketball operations Leon Rose when he was an agent, Berman points out, and his huge contract might make him available. Paul remains an elite point guard at age 35, but is owed $41.4MM next season and $44.2MM in 2020/21. With the salary cap expected to fall, the luxury tax will be a greater concern than ever and sources tell Berman that some teams will be eager to move their larger contracts.
  • Newly-hired VP of strategy Brock Aller spent more than a month consulting with associates before deciding to leave the Cavaliers for the Knicks, according to Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com. Cleveland general manager Koby Altman wanted Aller to stay with the organization where he spent the past 15 years, but Aller decided the chance to be part of a historic turnaround in New York was too good to pass up.
  • Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic takes an in-depth look at center Mitchell Robinson to determine how much he can improve after two years in the league.

Knicks’ Rose Considering Keeping GM Perry Beyond Draft

Even as new Knicks president of basketball operations Leon Rose begins to reshape the front office by bringing aboard Brock Aller as a VP of strategy, incumbent general manager Scott Perry is still expected to move forward with running the team’s draft, writes Marc Berman of The New York Post.

[RELATED: Knicks to hire Brock Aller to front office role]

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the NBA’s calendar isn’t set in stone. Perry’s contract is set to expire on June 30, five days after the June 25 draft. And while the draft may end up being held as scheduled if the NBA is forced to cancel the remainder of its 2019/20 season, resuming the season would almost certainly mean postponing the draft — and pushing back the expiration date on Perry’s deal.

Whenever the draft ends up being held, there’s no guarantee that Perry – who was the team’s general manager in the former regime under former president of basketball operations Steve Mills – will be let go afterward. According to Berman, Rose is considering retaining Perry beyond the expiration of his current contract.

“The impression is Leon will do his due diligence,” a source told Berman.

As for Aller’s role, sources tell Berman he’ll likely look to rework and perhaps streamline the Knicks’ “massive” scouting/basketball operations department. The club has already parted ways with consultant David Blatt and figures to make more changes in the coming weeks or months.

Knicks To Hire Brock Aller To Front Office Role

The Knicks are hiring Cavaliers capologist Brock Aller to be a high-ranking basketball official in their front office, according to Ian Begley of SNY.tv, who adds that Aller will be the chief strategist for new president of basketball operations Leon Rose.

Frank Isola of SiriusXM NBA Radio reported earlier today (via Twitter) that the Knicks and Aller were moving toward a deal, while Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News, who first reported a few weeks ago that Aller had interviewed with New York, tweeted that he’d be getting a “high position” within the organization.

A deal is expected to be finalized within the next week or so, according to Begley, who hears that the former Cavaliers executive will be one of Rose’s “right-hand men.”

As Begley details, Aller is expected to help Rose – a longtime player agent – navigate the management side of things, strategizing on how to build out the front office and coaching staff. While Aller is known for his salary cap work, he’ll have input in player personnel moves as well, Begley writes.

Aller played a role in building the Cavs team that won the NBA championship in 2016 and is highly respected in league circles, Begley adds.

Knicks May Target Elton Brand As GM

7:33pm: The Sixers are happy with Brand’s performance as GM and have no plans to let him go, a team source tells Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer (Twitter link). The source points to Brand’s strong relationships with players, agents and other executives.

6:19pm: Sixers general manager Elton Brand may be a candidate for the same position with the Knicks, a league source tells Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News.

New president of basketball operations Leon Rose is reportedly very interested in Brand, who remains under contract with Philadelphia. Rose wants to see if Brand would be fired if the Sixers have a disappointing performance in the playoffs, per Bondy.

Rose, who is from the Philadelphia area, formerly served as the agent for Joel Embiid and had a close working relationship with Brand in that capacity.

Scott Perry is the Knicks’ current GM, but his future with the organization is shaky. Perry and the team both have opt-outs for his contract after the season.

Sources tell Bondy that Rose also has interest in hiring Cavaliers capologist Brock Aller for a spot in the front office. Rose reportedly received permission from the Cavs to interview Aller before league went on hiatus.