Harold Ellis

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.

Eastern Rumors: Griffin, Yabusele, Teodosic, Magic

The Cavaliers did not grant GM David Griffin permission to interview for front office jobs with the Magic and Hawks, according to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst. The Magic were interested in hiring Griffin as President of Basketball Operations and had discussions with him but were not allowed to formally interview him and ultimately decided to hire Raptors GM Jeff Weltman, Windhorst continues. The Hawks are looking for an new GM. Griffin’s contract expires at the end of July and has been negotiating with team owner Dan Gilbert, Windhorst adds.

In other developments around the Eastern Conference:

  • Celtics forward Amir Johnson is questionable for Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals because of a shoulder injury, Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe tweets. Johnson played only nine minutes in Game 3. Jonas Jerebko, who scored 10 points in 12 minutes in Boston’s victory at Cleveland, could replace him in the starting lineup, ESPN’s Chris Forsberg tweets.
  • Celtics first-rounder Guerschon Yabusele recently had surgery to remove bone spurs in both feet and will not be available for summer-league games, a source told Forsberg. The 6’8” draft-and-stash prospect, who was chosen with the No. 16 pick last June, spent much of last season in China before joining the Celtics’ D-League team, the Maine Red Claws, in March. Yabusele appeared in seven D-League games and averaged 12.8 PPG and 5.4 RPG in 27.3 MPG.
  • The Nets will have stiff competition from the Nuggets and Jazz for the services of Euroleague point guard Milos Teodosic, according to Brian Lewis of the New York Post. The Nets are among several teams scouting Teodosic, who plays for CSKA Moscow, and he’s their top free-agent priority, Lewis continues. The Nuggets already have a Serbian connection to Teodosic in Nikola Jokic, his national teammate. The Jazz will have a point guard need if George Hill leaves in free agency and coach Quin Snyder is a former CSKA assistant, Lewis adds.
  • The Magic parted ways with several front office members, including Director of Pro Scouting Harold Ellis, Michael Scotto of Basketball Insiders tweets.

Southeast Rumors: Magic, Wizards, Sichting

Orlando is once again the center of the NBA universe as the Magic are reportedly working on yet another Dwight Howard trade. Sam Amick of SI.com provided an update earlier on the talks, and in his story he passed along a few comments from Magic CEO Alex Martins on how the team will proceed with Howard. 

"We have very specific goals as to what we would hope to achieve if we were to trade Dwight, OK?" Martins said. "We acknowledge and are realistic about the fact that you're never going to get equal value in return for Dwight Howard. But if we were to trade him, we have three primary goals that we're trying to achieve and in the end, any deal that's proposed to us I think we've been very clear about the fact about the goals of what we're trying to achieve."

Martins didn't specify what the three goals are, but said the team hasn't delineated from its plan, and added that the ability to acquire "the right combination of pieces" in return for Howard will determine whether they make a deal. We've got more on the Magic and the rest of the Southeast Division here:

  • The Wizards have hired Jerry Sichting as an assistant coach, the team reports on its website. Sichting has 24 years of NBA experience as a player, assistant coach, and front office executive, but spent last season coaching Martinsville High School, his alma mater, in Indiana.
  • Vincent Goodwill of the Detroit News tweets that Harold Ellis, director of pro personnel for the Pistons, is jumping to the Magic to work in a similar capacity. He follows Scott Perry, who left the Pistons in June to become Orlando's assistant GM.
  • Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com doesn't think the latest Howard deal makes sense for the Magic (Twitter link). Andy Kamenetzky of ESPNLosAngeles.com also looks at what each side might get in the deal, and believes the Sixers are the only team that would benefit. The deal remains fluid, though, and some of the players currently said to be part of the deal may not be included.