Scott Perry

Atlantic Notes: DeRozan, Dragic, Celtics, Simmons

Knicks general manager Scott Perry had contemplated pursuing swingman DeMar DeRozan in free agency this summer, writes Marc Berman of the New York Post. DeRozan eventually joined the Bulls through a three-year, $81.9MM sign-and-trade with San Antonio. The Knicks ultimately decided to add sharpshooting wing Evan Fournier on a four-year contract that could be worth up to $78MM.

The 28-year-old Fournier, who connected on 41.3% of his 6.7 three-point attempts per game for the Magic and Celtics last year, is potentially a cleaner offensive fit with the Knicks than the 32-year-old DeRozan would have been. DeRozan, a four-time All-Star while with the Raptors, is an excellent ball handler and an elite mid-range jump shooter, but lacks a reliable outside shot.

There’s more out of the Atlantic Division:

  • The fate of new Raptors point guard Goran Dragic is one of the prime subjects of a detailed new mailbag with Eric Koreen of The Athletic. Koreen contends that, because Dragic is on an expiring $19MM deal, he may have value in a trade. Koreen adds that a buyout would only transpire if Toronto team president Masai Ujiri is unable to find a suitable trade partner for Dragic before the 2022 deadline. Koreen also addresses the team’s thinking in not extending offers to free agent centers Jarrett Allen and Richaun Holmes.
  • After undergoing some significant behind-the-scenes changes during the offseason, the Celtics also made some notable changes on the court. In a new article, Zach Harper of The Athletic recaps and grades the club’s summer. The club added point guard Dennis Schröder on a team-friendly one-year, $5.9MM deal. Boston also traded away oft-injured point guard Kemba Walker in exchange for former Celtics All-Star big man Al Horford. The team also moved on from swingman Evan Fournier, decided to take a flyer on 3-and-D wing Josh Richardson, and added former Boston reserve Enes Kanter to their forward and center rotations, respectively. Harper forecasts that Boston ultimately upgraded its roster and could become a threat in the East again.
  • With training camp fast approaching, it is quite possible that the Sixers will now be affected by an extended Ben Simmons holdout ahead of a blockbuster trade, Kyle Neubeck of PhillyVoice writes. If a deal can’t be reached before the preseason starts, Neubeck wonders if the rest of the club can deal with the drama. Neubeck opines that, should a teammate, coach, or executive besmirch Simmons to the media, it could adversely affect Philadelphia’s potential return package in a trade. Neubeck also speculates about how an on-court absence for Simmons could expand the roles of Tyrese Maxey and Matisse Thybulle.

Knicks To Sign GM Scott Perry To Extension

6:16pm: It’s a two-year extension, Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News tweets.

3:08pm: The Knicks will sign general manager Scott Perry to a contract extension, sources tell Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Perry, who worked in the team’s previous front office regime alongside former president of basketball operations Steve Mills, was retained last spring on a one-year contract extension following the hiring of Leon Rose, so his deal had been set to expire this offseason. ESPN’s Brian Windhorst reported in May that the Knicks were expected to sign him to another extension.

It seemed entirely possible a year ago that Perry would be looking for a new job in 2021, but New York’s success this season reflected well on the GM — according to Charania, Perry led the 2019 free agent signing of Julius Randle, who was named the NBA’s Most Improved Player for 2020/21.

The terms of Perry’s new contract aren’t yet known, but it’ll be a multiyear deal, tweets Ian Begley of

New York Notes: Harris, Nets, Perry, Payton

In addition to having their Big Three ready to go for Game 1 of the first round of the postseason this Saturday, the Nets also anticipate having Joe Harris (left gluteal strain) available, writes Ryan Dunleavy of The New York Post.

“We expect Joe to be ready for the weekend,” Nets head coach Steve Nash said of Harris, who missed the last three games of the regular season due to his injury. “When he practices and how much he practices is to be determined, but I think he’s feeling better, looking better, and he went through our very light, half-speed practice and did his shooting (Tuesday), so all signs there are good.”

Here’s more on the NBA’s two New York teams:

  • Mike Mazzeo of Forbes takes a closer look at just how expensive the Nets‘ roster will get if and when the team signs Kevin Durant, James Harden, and Kyrie Irving to contract extensions.
  • When general manager Scott Perry signed a new contract with the Knicks last May, it was just a one-year extension that locked him up through 2020/21. However, there’s an expectation that Perry will work out a new deal to stick with the team beyond this season, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said on a recent episode of his Hoop Collective podcast (hat tip to RealGM).
  • As Marc Berman of The New York Post writes, Knicks point guard Elfrid Payton played some of his worst basketball of the season during the final few games of the regular season, raising questions about his postseason role. Mike Vaccaro of The New York Post argues that it’s time for the club to bench Payton, who averaged 1.8 PPG on 19.2% shooting in his last six contests (14.3 MPG).

Eastern Notes: Celtics, Cavs, Perry, Markkanen, Porter

The Celtics have a $28.5MM trade exception but in order to acquire an impact player, they’ll also likely have to part with draft picks, Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe opines. Boston GM Danny Ainge has admitted he doesn’t feel the team as presently constituted is championship-caliber, and potential trade partners will demand multiple picks to part with a player that the Celtics covet.

We have more from the Eastern Conference:

  • The Cavaliers are paying the price for injuries and other issues, Chris Fedor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer writes. They’re on a 10-game losing streak with Andre Drummond in limbo and three other frontcourt players — Kevin Love, Larry Nance Jr. and Taurean Prince — out with injuries. Their reserve corps has been rendered ineffective. “Nobody is coming to bail us out. Nobody is coming to rescue us,” coach J.B. Bickerstaff said.
  • Knicks executive Scott Perry has played an underrated role in building a more competitive team, Steve Popper of Newsday points out. He was instrumental in bringing in Julius Randle and some other veterans that have put them in playoff contention. The front office now has the assets to make a major deal, Popper adds.
  • It’s possible that Otto Porter Jr. (back) and Lauri Markkanen (right shoulder sprain) could return from their injuries prior to the All-Star break, but Bulls coach Billy Donovan doesn’t sound overly optimistic, according to Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun Times“I think as this week unfolds and we get closer to the All-Star break, we’ll certainly have to look at OP because he hasn’t been able to do a lot of cardio stuff,’’ Donovan said. “I don’t know if either of those guys will be back before the All-Star Break or not. … I’d imagine both of those guys have been really, really diligent about working out and trying to take care of themselves, and doing what they can to keep their conditioning up.’’

Joe Dumars Won’t Be A Candidate In Kings’ Front Office Search

Last week’s shakeup left Joe Dumars in charge of the Kings‘ front office, but that’s not a role he wants to keep long-term, according to Sam Amick and Shams Charania of The Athletic.

Dumars has no interest in remaining Sacramento’s head of basketball operations and will not be a candidate in the upcoming search, the authors report. However, he will be included in the hiring process and will interview candidates along with owner Vivek Ranadive. The new GM will have full control of roster moves and will report directly to Ranadive, rather than Dumars.

The Kings haven’t determined what Dumars’ role with the franchise will be once a new GM is selected, which could become a “problematic component,” Amick and Charania add. There’s no timeline to fill the opening, so Dumars and assistant GM Ken Catanella could be making the draft and free agency decisions in October.

Mike Forde of Sportsology is expected to be the leader in the search for GM candidates. He formerly served as senior manager for Chelsea’s soccer franchise in the English Premier League, and his web site lists the Clippers, Spurs, Sixers and Nets as clients. He also worked as an adviser for the Wizards last spring after they fired Ernie Grunfeld as president of basketball operations.

When he hired Dumars, Ranadive reportedly envisioned a power-sharing arrangement in the front office with former GM Vlade Divac. However, Divac wasn’t willing to accept that and opted to resign, followed a day later by assistant GM Peja Stojakovic.

The authors note there is “significant interest” in the position around the league, despite concerns about what Dumars’ ultimate role might be. “A swell of support” has emerged for Knicks GM Scott Perry, who briefly served as VP of basketball operations in Sacramento before leaving for New York. Sources claim Ranadive and Perry are still on good terms and have remained in touch in the nearly three years since Perry’s departure.

Perry helped the Kings get an individual workout with De’Aaron Fox before the 2017 draft and improved the organization’s reputation through his close relationships with agents and executives. Perry still has a year left on his contract, but a source tells the authors he would be interested in returning to Sacramento as long as he’s guaranteed the final decision on personnel moves. The Kings would have to request permission from the Knicks to talk to Perry, which sources tell Amick and Charania they hadn’t done as of Tuesday night.

The authors list Clippers assistant GMs Mark Hughes and Trent Redden as other candidates to watch, along with Raptors GM Bobby Webster, Celtics VP of basketball operations Mike Zarren, Pelicans executive VP of basketball operations Trajan Langdon, Timberwolves executive VP of basketball operations Sachin Gupta, Spurs VP of basketball operations Brent Barry, and Rockets assistant GM Eli Witus.

Kings Notes: Divac, Bagley, Ranadive, Perry

In an interview with Marcos Breton of The Sacramento Bee, former Kings general manager Vlade Divac discusses his most controversial moves, including the draft day decision from two years ago that likely ended his time with the franchise. Divac got a phone call Friday from owner Vivek Ranadive telling him that Joe Dumars was taking over the front office, but Divac’s fate was probably sealed when he used the second pick in the 2018 draft to take Marvin Bagley III instead of Luka Doncic.

Bagley has played 75 combined games in two injury-filled seasons, while Doncic has quickly become an All-Star. Divac admits the decision became a source of tension with the owner, explaining that he saw Bagley as a better fit and remains confident he has a bright future.

“That was my decision,” Divac said. “I still believe Marvin has big upside. But I needed more time to prove it. I’m sure Marvin is going to prove everybody wrong. But in this league, you need to produce right now. People don’t have patience but I’m OK with that.”

Also in the interview, Divac talks about his decision not to pick up Harry Giles‘ option, the hiring of Luke Walton as head coach and Buddy Hield‘s frustration with his reserve role.

There’s more Kings news this morning:

  • Divac turned down Ranadive’s offer to remain in the front office and share power with Dumars, according to Sam Amick and Jason Jones of The Athletic. After conducting exit interviews with Kings players, Divac spoke with Ranadive again later in the day, but the owner hadn’t changed his mind. Sources tell the authors that Divac will be paid for the remainder of his contract, which runs through the 2022/23 season, and that Walton’s job remains safe.
  • Knicks general manager Scott Perry may be a candidate to replace Divac, suggests Marc Berman of The New York Post. Perry spent a short time with the Sacramento front office before coming to New York and reportedly left on good terms. He also has experience working for Dumars in Detroit. Knicks president Leon Rose recently exercised Perry’s option for next season, but he may not have much job security with a new management team in place.
  • The Kings will take their time finding a new general manager, and the search could extend into next season, writes Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo Sports. Goodwill thinks Dumars might opt for a younger executive, similar to his experience with the Pistons when he took over the front office at age 37.

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 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 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.

New York Notes: Knicks, Perry, Nets, Levy

A report last month indicated that Knicks management believes the team is well positioned to trade for a disgruntled star if one becomes available, given its surplus of first-round picks and cap flexibility going forward. However, even if the Knicks are right, it’s not clear which star player may be the next to push for a trade — or when that will happen.

Looking to identify a possible target to monitor, Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News zeroes in on second-year Hawks guard Trae Young as one option. As Bondy explains, Atlanta has a 49-100 (.329) record since Young entered the league and at least one report has suggested the young star hasn’t always been on the same page as head coach Lloyd Pierce. Bondy also points to some positive comments Young made about the Knicks before the 2018 draft, when the youngster said it would be a “blessing” to be selected by New York.

While Knicks fans may enjoy dreaming about Young lighting up Madison Square Garden, Bondy’s proposal – which earned an “LOL” from Hawks beat writer Chris Kirschner of The Athletic – seems far-fetched at this point.

Young is under contract through at least 2022 and young stars rarely leave their teams at the end of their four-year rookie contracts, since they can’t reach unrestricted free agency unless they’re willing to accept a modest fifth-year qualifying offer instead of a lucrative long-term deal. That’s such a rarity that few teams even take the threat seriously — the Knicks, who dealt Kristaps Porzingis before he reached restricted free agency, are one of the only teams in recent history to trade a fourth-year star amidst rumors he’d sign his QO, and that deal hasn’t worked out especially well for them.

There’s nothing wrong with the Knicks keeping an eye on Young, but I imagine they’ll have to look elsewhere if they want to acquire a star in a trade during the next year or two.

Here’s more on the NBA’s two New York teams:

  • Having received a one-year extension from the Knicks, GM Scott Perry may only be a short-term solution for the team under new president of basketball operations Leon Rose. Danny Leroux of The Athletic takes a look at how that decision to retain Perry for a bridge year could backfire.
  • The Nets parted ways with former CEO David Levy back in November, just two months after hiring him. As Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News reports, Levy’s stint with the franchise was short-lived because his contract stated he’d have some influence in the basketball operations department and that didn’t sit well with members of the team’s front office. According to Bondy, the “pushback” Levy received led to the Nets essentially buying him out.
  • Neither the Knicks nor Nets will open their practice facilities on Friday, and neither team has specified a target date for when that may happen, per Jeff Zillgitt and Mark Medina of USA Today.