Leon Rose

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 To Retain GM Scott Perry For 2020/21

The Knicks have opted to retain Scott Perry as their general manager for at least another year, reports Steve Popper of Newsday. The team confirmed the decision in a statement to Newsday.

“Scott is a well-respected basketball executive who I have known for more than 20 years, and I look forward to continuing to work closely with him as we look to build a winning team in New York,” president of basketball operations Leon Rose said in that statement.

Perry had been New York’s GM under former team president Steve Mills, and there was speculation that replacing Perry would be among the changes made by the newly-hired Rose as he reshapes the club’s front office. However, given the unusual circumstances created by the coronavirus pandemic, the Knicks had been expected to keep Perry on board at least to run their draft — now, they’ve decided to extend their relationship a little beyond that.

As Popper writes, the Knicks and Perry had a May 1 deadline on their mutual option for the 2020/21 season, necessitating a decision on his future this week. A source tells Popper that the two sides have agreed to a one-year contract, which will allow Rose and Perry to work together without the team having to make a long-term commitment to the GM.

The Knicks’ decision on Perry doesn’t necessarily mean the rest of the front office holdovers are safe for next season. The contracts for those executives don’t require an immediate decision like Perry’s did, according to Popper, who hears from a source that Rose will continue to do due diligence on the rest of the staff.

Atlantic Notes: Randle, Durant, Prince, Walker

New Knicks president Leon Rose is open to dealing Julius Randle despite Randle being a former client when Rose was a player agent, according to Marc Berman of the New York Post. Rose would also be willing to shed Randle’s contract after next season, even though Randle has a partial guarantee of $4MM on his $19.8MM salary for the 2021/22 season. Prior to Rose taking over, the Knicks had discussions with Charlotte before February’s trade deadline involving Randle, who reportedly upset some teammates this season with his ball-dominant style.

We have more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Members of the Knicks organization last summer expressed confidence that Kevin Durant would have signed with them if he hadn’t suffered a ruptured right Achilles tendon in the NBA Finals, Ian Begley of SNY.TV reports. If that were true, Durant would have convinced Kyrie Irving to sign with New York instead of the Nets or recruited a different star to join him, Begley continues. The Knicks were not prepared last summer to offer Durant a max deal due to concerns from owner James Dolan regarding the injury. However, Durant has said publicly that he didn’t give the Knicks much consideration anyway, Begley notes.
  • Forward Taurean Prince took a step back this season and that could lead to a dilemma for the Nets, Zach Lowe of ESPN opines. Brooklyn gave Prince a two-year, $25.25MM rookie scale extension prior to the season that kicks in next season. He could have been a trade chip this summer in a package to bring in another star but it’s unclear what kind of value he has now, Lowe adds.
  • Kemba Walker would have remained with Charlotte for less than a super-max deal last summer but he knew that wouldn’t happen after meeting with Hornets owner Michael Jordan, Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe writes. Walker may have stayed put if the Hornets had offered him five years and approximately $180MM. The Celtics emerged as the most likely destination because they were already a playoff team and president of basketball operations Danny Ainge had been enamored with Walker ever since the point guard’s days at the University of Connecticut, Himmelsbach adds.

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: Ellington, Rose, Miller

Following the trade deadline in February, there were multiple teams that would have had interest in Wayne Ellington if he and the Knicks had reached a buyout agreement, writes Marc Berman of The New York Post. A source tells Berman that general manager Scott Perry and Ellington’s agent Mark Bartelstein had several conversations about the possibility, but ultimately elected not to move forward.

As Berman explains, Perry wanted Ellington around the Knicks’ young players because he felt as if the veteran guard was a positive influence, and the 32-year-old was happy to take on that mentor role.

Although Ellington is now on track to finish the season with the Knicks – whenever the season may end – he may end up moving on to a new NBA home for 2020/21. New York is unlikely to guarantee his $8MM salary, Berman notes.

“He might be back to a minimum-salary player next season,” an NBA personnel person told Berman. “I think maybe he’s a lost a step and he was never too athletic to begin with. He’ll hang around a couple more years because of his shooting profile.”

Here’s more on the Knicks:

  • Although new Knicks president of basketball operations Leon Rose was on the job for less than two weeks before the NBA suspended its season, he came away with “a positive feeling” about interim head coach Mike Miller, per Ian Begley of SNY.tv. Sources tell Begley that Rose was impressed by the way Miller handled the team and respected the job he’d done since taking over for David Fizdale.
  • Rose is still expected to conduct his own head coaching search after the season, but some “prominent people at Madison Square Garden” would like to see Miller remain with the organization in some capacity, sources tell Begley.
  • Appearing this week on ESPN Radio, former Knicks great Patrick Ewing addressed the feud between his former teammate Charles Oakley and Knicks owner James Dolan, as Scott Thompson of SNY.tv details. “Whatever is going on with (Oakley) and Mr. Dolan, like I’ve said before, it’s something that needs to stop,” Ewing said. “He’s one of the best players that I’ve played with. He’s a part of the Knicks’ history. He and Mr. Dolan need to get in a room somewhere and figure that out.” The two sides have been ordered by a federal appeals court to mediate their dispute.
  • In case you missed them, we’ve published stories this week on Damyean Dotson, Reggie Bullock, and more Knicks-related subjects. Check out their team page right here.

Knicks Notes: Rose, Knox, Hiatus, Brazdeikis

Kentucky head coach John Calipari, who has a long-standing relationship with new Knicks president of basketball operations Leon Rose, said today on a conference call that he thinks Rose is the right man for the job in New York, per Scott Thompson and Ian Begley of SNY.tv. While Calipari acknowledged that changes within the organization might not happen overnight, he’s confident that Rose will do a “great job” and will eventually get the Knicks on the right path.

“He’s a gatherer,” Calipari said. “And I believe that’s what the Knicks need right now, a gather who can bring things together and make it a culture that players want to be in because they know, ‘This is about all of us.'”

Calipari also spoke at length about former Kentucky forward Kevin Knox, who has struggled thus far in his two NBA seasons. As Danny Abriano of SNY.tv relays, Calipari said he has seen “glimpses” from Knox at the NBA level and believes the 20-year-old is still going through an adjustment period.

It’s going to take time. What you don’t want to do — and teams have done this in that league — they give up on a young, young player too soon,” Calipari said. “And now all of a sudden, the guy comes back and they look and the whole thing in New York will be, ‘Well, what if we had him? We gave him away. We should have held on longer. Why did we do that?'”

Here’s more on the Knicks:

  • Mike Vornukov of The Athletic identifies six ways the Knicks will be affected by the NBA’s hiatus, including its impact on the team’s coaching search, draft prep, and free agency period. As Vornukov points out, the Knicks beating Atlanta in their last game before the break will cost them in the lottery standings if the regular season doesn’t resume.
  • Ignas Brazdeikis, who only appeared in nine games for the Knicks as a rookie in 2019/20, would have gotten a chance at regular minutes down the stretch after the NBA G League season ended, sources tell Marc Berman of The New York Post. “That was the plan — join the team, get an opportunity,” one source told Berman. “The Knicks were happy with his development. He kept a real positive mentality, kept his head down and was excited about the opportunity.”
  • Former NBA head coach Rick Pitino tells Steve Selby of The New York Post that he was shocked by Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant signing with Brooklyn without even meeting with the Knicks. “The Knicks today, it’s not like the old days, where everybody dreamed of playing at Madison Square Garden,” Pitino said. “… The Knick organization is going through difficult times, but hopefully they got the right leadership now and they’ll turn it around.”

Knicks Eyeing CP3 As Possible Offseason Target?

A connection with new Knicks president of basketball operations Leon Rose may put Chris Paul on the team’s radar this offseason, according to a pair of reports.

Frank Isola of SiriusXM NBA Radio (Twitter link) cited sources who say that the Knicks have been “gathering intel” on Paul and may pursue him in the offseason. Meanwhile, Marc Berman of The New York Post writes that the All-Star point guard “adores” Rose, who was previously CP3’s agent.

After acquiring Paul from the Rockets last summer – along with multiple first-round picks – in a deal that sent Russell Westbrook to Houston, the Thunder reportedly explored flipping the veteran to another team. However, he was considered a negative trade asset at that time, due to the three years and $124MM left on his contract.

Oklahoma City opted to hang onto Paul and he has been impressive in his first season with the Thunder, staying healthy all year, earning a spot in the All-Star Game for the first time since 2016, and leading the club to a 38-24 record so far. That doesn’t mean that his contract – which still has two years and nearly $86MM left on it after this season – won’t still be considered onerous, but CP3 should have more value this offseason if the Thunder want to put him back on the trade block.

Paul wouldn’t exactly be a perfect fit for the rebuilding Knicks, considering he’ll turn 35 years old this spring. Acquiring him would also compromise the team’s cap flexibility for the summer of 2021, which is expected to feature a significantly stronger free agent class than 2020.

Still, the Knicks didn’t have much luck recruiting star free agents in 2019, so if they don’t use their cap room to acquire a player like Paul, they may simply end up spending it on lesser free agents again, or perhaps absorbing unwanted contracts. Attempting to fill their point guard hole by swinging a deal for an All-Star like CP3 could be a reasonable alternative — especially since it might not take a significant package to land him, if OKC wants to move off his contract and move forward with its rebuild.

New York Notes: Durant, Nets Backcourt, Knicks Fans, Rose

Kevin Durant provided a medical update during the Nets‘ broadcast Wednesday night on the YES Network, relays Peter Botte of The New York Post. Durant said he continues to make progress in his recovery from Achilles surgery and confirmed that he recently started playing three-on-three games with teammates.

“I feel all right. It’s been fun, playing three-on-three with the guys every day,” Durant said. “I miss the routine. I’ve missed getting up every day and being one of the guys, going to practice, going to shootarounds. It’s been difficult, being away from the scene. But I’m about nine months out (from surgery), so I’m looking forward to getting back into the swing of things.”

There’s more NBA news from New York City:

  • Because of injuries to Kyrie Irving and Caris LeVert, Nets coach Kenny Atkinson still doesn’t know if they can form an effective backcourt rotation with Spencer Dinwiddie, writes Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated. Irving will miss the rest of the season after shoulder surgery and played just 20 games in his first year in Brooklyn. LeVert was injured early in the season and has been available for only 36 games. “That would be the piece we still have to figure out,” Atkinson said. “You have a lot of ball dominant guards. That being said, Caris and Spencer, with D’Angelo [Russell], they played a lot without the ball. I think D’Angelo’s usage rate was higher than Kyrie’s. We can definitely do it.”
  • Four fans tell Marc Berman of The New York Post they were ejected from Madison Square Garden after starting a “sell the team” chant directed at owner James Dolan late in Wednesday’s loss to Utah. The Knicks are denying the claim, stating that no one was ejected or escorted out of the building. Brian Mahoney of the Associated Press notes that years of losing may be catching up with the organization as last night’s crowd was the smallest since 2006 and overall attendance is likely to drop for the fourth straight season.
  • Jazz star Donovan Mitchell believes hiring Leon Rose as president of basketball operations will help turn the Knicks around, according to Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News. A CAA client, Mitchell talked about Rose when he was asked about the team’s dispute with Spike Lee. “I think with Leon — who I know personally — things are going to trend upward. I love Leon to death,” Mitchell said. “He’s a great dude, great person and a really good businessman. So I think they’re going to start going in the right direction when he gets in there.”

Knicks Notes: Oakley, Lee, Rose, Harkless

Charles Oakley offered his opinion on the Knickscontroversy involving Spike Lee during a radio interview this morning, relays Steve Popper of Newsday. Appearing on ESPN’s “Golic and Wingo,” Oakley said the dispute stems from an organizational philosophy set by owner James Dolan.

“When you see a business like this year after year … having problems off the court, trying to get people to come to games and they’re not coming because it’s a toxic situation, because it’s so much control going on … egos,” Oakley stated. “These people who run a team, sometimes owners sit back and watch; this guy wants to be the CEO, the head of operations, he wants to be in control. It shouldn’t be run like that. It should be run by a group of people, not a control freak.”

Oakley also suggested that these incidents alienate players who might think about joining the team. New York had an embarrassing experience last summer when it failed to land any top talent despite having enough cap room for two max offers.

“Even Dwyane Wade said, they treat you like that, how you think they’re going to treat us?” Oakley added. “… The thing that kills the team, kills their hope for the future, you get a new president [Leon Rose] and don’t get to introduce him to the press, to the people because of this. It just wiped the whole thing out. You did something positive and you’re right back at ground zero.”

There’s more tonight from New York:

  • Rose took a low-key approach to his first day as president of basketball operations, writes Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic. Rose didn’t hold a press conference or talk to any media. He met with players and staff and promised to build relationships. “We’ve been through a lot of up and down this year — coaching changes, president changes, a lot of family tragedies — but he really wants to stick with us,” Kevin Knox said. “He’s going to make sure we get better, the team gets better. As a player, that’s what you want to hear.”
  • Warriors general manager Bob Myers tells Marc Berman of The New York Post that Rose’s background as a successful agent will help him succeed as an executive. Myers was the pioneer for that transition, leaving Arn Tellem’s agency in 2012 to take over Golden State.
  • Maurice Harkless has made an impression on the coaching staff since being acquired from the Clippers at the trade deadline, observes Ian Begley of SNY.tv. “People use the term versatility a lot but when I watch the games, and then I go back and I watch in on video again, I see more things that he did that maybe I didn’t even notice,” interim coach Mike Miller said.

Atlantic Notes: Kemba, Knicks, Thybulle, Tatum

Kemba Walker will return to action on Tuesday night for the Celtics as they host the Nets, head coach Brad Stevens confirmed today (Twitter link via Tim Bontemps of ESPN). Walker, who has missed Boston’s five games since the All-Star break due to a nagging knee injury, will play approximately 20-25 minutes, according to Stevens.

Here’s more from around the Atlantic:

  • New Knicks president of basketball operations Leon Rose made a good first impression in his initial meeting with players on Monday, writes Marc Berman of The New York Post. Rose also met with Mike Miller and his coaching staff, and while the new head of basketball ops could end up replacing many of those coaches in the spring, Miller wasn’t fazed by the situation. “I don’t need any assurances from anyone as we go through this,” he said. “I trust the process, I trust what we’re doing. I’m perfectly fine working the way we’re doing day to day.”
  • Sixers rookie Matisse Thybulle has expressed interest in representing Australia in the 2020 Olympics, per The Australian Associated Press (link via ESPN). Thybulle, who said his Australian passport is up to date, will make a decision after the season. If he does suit up for the Boomers, he could be playing alongside 76ers teammate Ben Simmons for head coach Brett Brown.
  • Within an article on Jayson Tatum‘s ascension to stardom, Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer revisits the Celtics‘ decision to move down from No. 1 to No. 3 in the 2017 draft. According to O’Connor, before zeroing in on Tatum, Boston was exploring acquiring extra assets in a trade down from No. 1 in the hopes of flipping them for Paul George, who was ultimately sent to Oklahoma City instead.