Gerald Madkins

Knicks Notes: Robinson, Ntilikina, Front Office

As a second-round pick in the 2018 draft, Mitchell Robinson came cheaper than a first-rounder, but his contract could create some complications if and when the Knicks look to extend him, as Mike Vorkunov and Danny Leroux of The Athletic explore.

Robinson has a non-guaranteed minimum salary for 2020/21 and a minimum-salary team option for 2021/22, making him a great bargain for the next two years. However, if the Knicks wait until the end of that four-year deal to try to re-sign him, Robinson will be eligible for unrestricted free agency and could sign with any team.

On the other hand, if the Knicks were to turn down Robinson’s fourth-year option and negotiate a new deal in the ’21 offseason, he’d be a restricted free agent, giving the team the opportunity to match any offer sheet he may sign.

As Vorkunov and Leroux observe, Nikola Jokic and the Nuggets found themselves in a similar situation a couple years ago, and Denver opted to lock up its star center after his third year, significantly increasing his fourth-year cap hit but avoiding the risk of unrestricted free agency. Robinson isn’t on Jokic’s level, but it still may make sense for the Knicks to take a similar approach with their young big man to ensure they don’t lose him after his fourth year.

For now, Leroux estimates that Robinson might cost about $15MM per year on his next contract, but cautions the 22-year-old’s value could substantially increase or decline depending on his performance over the next year or so.

Here’s more on the Knicks:

  • Within the above-linked piece, Vorkunov and Leroux discuss what Frank Ntilikina‘s next contract might look like, given his defensive strengths — and his offensive shortcomings. While they cite Dante Exum as one point of comparison, the Athletic’s duo notes that Exum’s three-year, $28.8MM deal with Utah ended up being an overpay. Leroux expects Ntilikina – a restricted free agent in 2021 – to get less than that.
  • In his latest mailbag, Ian Begley of SNY.tv examines how changes to the salary cap projection for 2020/21 might affect the Knicks, while also addressing the team’s coaching situation and a few other topics.
  • Nothing has been finalized yet, but sources tell Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News (Twitter link) that Knicks executives Craig Robinson, Gerald Madkins, and Harold Ellis are unlikely to be retained by new president of basketball operations Leon Rose.
  • In case you missed it, the Knicks are finalizing a pair of front office deals, with the team set to hire Walt Perrin and Frank Zanin as assistant general managers.

Knicks Notes: Perry, Rose, Smith Jr., Coaching Search

The Knicks are bringing back general manager Scott Perry for another season, but the fate of his staff won’t be determined until this summer, writes Marc Berman of The New York Post. Perry and the team had a May 1 deadline on their mutual option, so new president of basketball operations Leon Rose had to make a decision this week. However, Perry’s staff all have contracts that run through August, so Rose will take more time to evaluate each of them.

Those staff members include personnel director Harold Ellis, assistant GM Gerald Madkins, scout Fred Cofield and capologist Michael Arcieri, and Berman notes that none of them are guaranteed to remain with the team. He adds that Perry will have input into Rose’s future hires for the scouting department.

Perry has a long relationship with NBA mogul William Wesley, who Berman believes is providing behind-the-scenes advice to Rose. Perry’s new contract runs for one season, and he will likely get the chance to earn a longer deal based on his decisions going forward.

There’s more from New York:

  • Keeping Perry around will provide continuity for the Knicks heading into the draft and the offseason, writes Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic. Perry has spent the past three years with the organization and worked closely with former team president Steve Mills before he was fired in early February.
  • The decision to dismiss Mills right before the trade deadline probably postponed plans to trade Dennis Smith Jr., Ian Begley of SNY.tv states in a mailbag column. A source tells Begley that some people in the organization thought it was a “near certainty” Smith was going to be moved. Begley believes injuries and the death of a family member led to Smith’s regression this year and suggests he might be better off with another team, possibly the Magic, who reportedly expressed interest before the deadline.
  • Begley expects Spurs assistant Becky Hammon and former Knicks coach Jeff Van Gundy to get consideration in the upcoming coaching search. Several agents and coaches told Begley they believe Rose will hire Tom Thibodeau if he doesn’t keep interim coach Mike Miller in place. Begley adds that Kentucky’s John Calipari shouldn’t be dismissed as a candidate, even though he has stated that he’s not interested in the job.

Knicks Won’t Pursue Front Office, Coaching Moves During Hiatus

New Knicks president Leon Rose is not looking into any front office changes during the hiatus, according to Marc Berman of the New York Post.

With an unofficial hiring and firing freeze around the league, Rose continues to lean on GM Scott Perry, assistant GM Gerald Madkins and director of player personnel Harold Ellis for draft preparations. Perry is expected to remain in his position at least through the draft, Berman continues.

The Knicks possess two first-round picks in this year’s draft — their own, plus the Clippers — as well as the Hornets second-rounder.

A report surfaced on Wednesday that the Knicks might target Sixers GM Elton Brand to replace Perry but a separate report indicated Philadelphia has no desire to let Brand leave.

The Knicks have also put a potential head coaching search on hold during the NBA’s stoppage, Ian Begley of SNY.tv reports. Rose gained a positive impression of interim coach Mike Miller during the short time games were being played after Rose officially was named to his current position.

Knicks Notes: Front Office, Dotson, Perry

The Knicks announced a series of hires for the team’s front office on Tuesday, which included Gerald Madkins (assistant general manager), Craig Robinson (vice president, player development and G-League operations), Harold Ellis (director, player personnel), Michael Arcieri (director, basketball strategy) and Fred Cofield (scout). Clarence Gaines Jr. will remain with the team as a scout as well.

“Last month, the day after I was hired, I started a full evaluation of the entire basketball operations staff,” Knicks general manager Scott Perry said in a press release. “My first goal was to build-up the highest level front office in the NBA. We are adding a host of highly-regarded and respected basketball people to work with the Knicks to fortify the franchise for years to come.”

Madkins and Cofield both have ties to the Knicks organization, whereas Ellis and Arcieri worked on Perry’s staff in Orlando. Robinson, the brother-in-law of former president Barack Obama, had a prominent role in the Bucks’ front office before joining New York. As ESPN’s Ian Begley notes (via Twitter), Gaines was hired by since-departed president Phil Jackson, who credited Gaines with the team’s decision to draft Kristaps Porzingis.

Read below notable tidbits of news surrounding the Knicks:

  • Marc Berman of the New York Post writes that Perry has been able to come in the Knicks’ front office and make the personnel moves he desires. Creating a staff of preferred people was reportedly one of the hurdles that kept former Cavaliers general manager David Griffin from coming to New York, so Perry seems to have at least some power in the early stages of his Knicks tenure.
  • Per ESPN’s Bobby Marks (via Twitter), Damyean Dotson is the fourth second-round pick in 2017 to sign a contract worth over $1MM for the coming season. Dotson’s deal guarantees him $1.1MM in 2017/18 and $1.4MM in 2018/19. As for the $1.6M salary in 2019/20, it is non-guaranteed with trigger dates during the season to guarantee it.

Knicks To Hire Gerald Madkins as Assistant GM

The Knicks will hire Gerald Madkins as assistant GM, tweets Brad Turner of The Los Angeles Times. The Kings and Bucks also expressed interest in him (Twitter link).

Madkins, 48, had been an assistant GM with the Clippers for the past two seasons. Since joining the organization in 2012, he also served as director of basketball operations and director of scouting.

Before joining the Clippers, Madkins held scouting positions with the SuperSonics and Rockets and was VP of player personnel for the Hornets.

A former NBA player, Madkins spent time with the Cavaliers and Warriors in the 1990s. He was named Continental Basketball Association Rookie of the Year in 1993.

Clippers Add Gerald Madkins To Front Office

The Clippers have hired Gerald Madkins as director of basketball operations, reports Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times. Madkins comes from the Hornets, where he was director of player personnel the last two seasons. Turner says Madkins will work alongside recently hired vice president of basketball operations Gary Sacks, though it's unclear exactly what role he'll play in the team's decision-making. 

Prior to joining the Hornets, Madkins spent two years as director of scouting for the Rockets, and also worked in the scouting departments of the Sonics and Knicks. In all, his NBA experience totals 10 years. He played parts of three seasons with the Cavaliers and Warriors in the 1990s.

Sacks, the Clippers' former director of player personnel, was promoted to his current position earlier this month after spending the summer as part of a three-man management team that replaced GM Neil Olshey, who left to become Blazers GM in June. Sacks is believed to have been acting as de facto GM since his promotion, though coach Vinny Del Negro and team president Andy Roeser, the others in the management trio, still have voices in front office decision-making. Blake Griffin was vocal about his support for Sacks prior to the promotion.