Scott Perry

Knicks Notes: Porzingis, Jack, Noah, Perry

Star forward Kristaps Porzingis will have surgery to repair his torn left ACL on Tuesday, according to Ian Begley of ESPN. He is expected to be out of action for at least 10 months, though a more specific timetable for recovery will be set after the operation.

Begley points out that in addition to sinking the Knicks’ playoff hopes for this season, it takes away an entire summer where Porzingis could be improving his game. On the other hand, it increases New York’s chance to land a high lottery pick in this year’s draft and provide an elite prospect to pair with Porzingis for the future. The Knicks are targeting the summer of 2019 for a free agent push, with only about $50MM in committed salary for the following season.

“He’s of course really sad because he wanted to be out there so bad with us,” said Enes Kanter, who talked to Porzingis on Thursday. “But I think at the same time he’s staying really positive. Like, ‘Man I just want to get my surgery done early so I can just start getting my rehab and I can come back and play.’ I think he’s going to come back even stronger because he’s really hungry.”

There’s more today out of New York:

  • One player who can sympathize with Porzingis’ recovery process is teammate Jarrett Jack, who suffered the same injury two years ago, notes Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News. Jack says it took 17 months for him to fully recover and warns Porzingis not to try to rush back into action. “Mentally it’s such a grind, as well as physically. Not letting the process deter you,” Jack said. “… I know you get antsy, as the process goes through, and you start feeling good, but just taking your time with the whole thing.” Of course, there’s no guarantee Jack will still be with the Knicks when Porzingis can play again. He has an expiring contract and could have his minutes reduced after the addition of Emmanuel Mudiay.
  • The trade deadline passed with Joakim Noah still on the roster, but he won’t be rejoining the Knicks any time soon, Bondy adds in the same piece. His paid leave of absence will continue as the front office considers its next move. “It’s a mutual decision,” GM Scott Perry said. “He’ll be away until further notice.” Noah, who still has two years and close to $38MM left on his contract, has been clashing with coach Jeff Hornacek over a lack of playing time.
  • Perry performed an important service by assuring Knicks fans that Porzingis will return better than ever after his surgery, writes Marc Berman of The New York Post. It’s the type of public relations move that former team president Phil Jackson never viewed as important, Berman adds.

Jeff Hornacek Gets Vote Of Confidence From GM

Amid speculation that Jeff Hornacek’s job could be jeopardized by what appears to be another lost season, Knicks GM Scott Perry offered a vote of confidence today, writes Adam Zagoria of

Already five games out of a playoff spot, New York suffered a crushing blow Tuesday night when star forward Kristaps Porzingis tore his left ACL. Perry says he understands the situation and plans to judge Hornacek and his staff by more than just their won-loss record.

“No, we’re not looking to make any changes,” Perry said. “We’re evaluating the entire season. Jeff and his group are working really hard with this basketball team and doing the very best they can and obviously this is an adversity for them to deal with [Kristaps Porzingis] being out, but I’m confident that they’ll be able to do a good job of keeping this team playing hard and playing together. That’s what we’ll be looking at moving forward.”

Hornacek has one season remaining on the three-year deal he signed when he was hired in 2016. He has a 54-83 record during his time in New York and hasn’t developed the Knicks into a playoff contender.

Former Cavaliers coach David Blatt, a longtime friend of team president Steve Mills, has been mentioned as a possible replacement, along with ex-Warriors coach Mark Jackson, who spent nearly seven seasons with the Knicks as a player.

In the wake of Porzingis’ injury, Hornacek plans to devote more minutes to younger players for the rest of the season.

“We’re still trying to win games,” he said. “We’re still trying to develop our guys. This is going to give them an opportunity to get some minutes and see what they can do against NBA guys. We’ve seen some of it, because they practice with us, and we see what they can do against our guys.”

Knicks Notes: Perry, Kanter, McDermott, Hardaway

Knicks GM Scott Perry doesn’t want to try to duplicate “The Process” that has worked for the Sixers, relays Marc Berman of The New York Post. Philadelphia endured several years of on-court failure while collecting prime lottery picks and other assets. Perry said his franchise shouldn’t “institutionalize losing” and prefers to compete for a playoff spot.

“I think it’s very important if you’re playing meaningful basketball late in the season because of the culture you’re trying to build here,” he explained. “I’ll also say wherever we wind up in the draft, whether on the playoff side or lottery side, I have extreme confidence in the scouting and front-office staff we’re going to add some talented players to the mix here.”

The Knicks are off to a 12-13 start after finishing last season 31-51 and are tied with the Heat for ninth place in the East.

There’s more this morning from New York:

  • The team’s early-season success is a result of “winning” the trade that sent Carmelo Anthony to Oklahoma City, Berman writes in the same story. Enes Kanter immediately took over as the starting center and is averaging 13.6 and 10.5 rebounds per game. Doug McDermott has been productive off the bench, scoring 7.9 points in 23.5 minutes. New York also picked up Chicago’s second-round pick, which will be 31st overall if the Bulls continue to hold the league’s worst record. “Enes has come in and quickly become a crowd favorite,” Perry said. “He brings a toughness. He brings commitment to team. He’s complemented [Kristaps Porzingis] very well. He’s relentless on the boards and adds a little edge and toughness to our team. Doug is the consummate professional, can stretch the defense because he can shoot 3-point shots and done even better on the defensive end than most people thought. Both those guys have been about enhancing the culture we want to have here.”
  • Being around the .500 mark early in the season is nothing new for the Knicks, but Porzingis told Al Iannazzone of Newsday that there’s a different feeling this year. New York got off to a 14-10 start last season and was 22-22 in 2015/16 before collapsing both times. Porzingis believes the organization is in a better position now with the drama of the Phil Jackson era gone and endorses the team’s offseason moves. “That’s the right direction to go: rebuild, have young guys and play hard and build a new team,” he said. “But not at any moment in my mind has there been a thought that maybe we can lose this game so we can get a better draft pick. I’m not about that. I want to win every game.”
  • Injured guard Tim Hardaway Jr., who is sidelined with a stress injury to his left leg, was in a walking boot Saturday as he joined his teammates in Chicago, Berman tweets.

Kings Notes: Hill, Randolph, G League, Draft

George Hill becomes eligible to be traded in six days, and Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee expects rumors involving the Kings point guard to start emerging soon. Like most players who signed contracts over the offseason, Hill can be traded beginning December 15. He probably envisioned a larger role when he inked a three-year, $57MM deal with Sacramento, as he is getting just 25.5 minutes per night, even though he has started all 23 games that he has played.

Hill’s playing time might diminish even further if he stays with the Kings. First-round pick De’Aaron Fox is Sacramento’s point guard of the future and the organization views him as a developing star. Second-round pick and fellow point guard Frank Mason has been a pleasant surprise, leaving Hill to play off the ball more often. His numbers are down across the board after averaging 16.9 points for the Jazz next season, and Jones suggests a trade would be best for both Hill and the Kings.

There’s more out of Sacramento:

  • Zach Randolph, another veteran offseason free agent addition, has developed into the Kings’ most consistent player, Jones writes in the same piece. Coach Dave Joerger doesn’t believe in using young players just for development purposes, so Randolph has pushed rookie forward Justin Jackson and second-year forward Skal Labissiere to the bench. Joerger’s policy is to reward production with playing time, and Randolph has earned his minutes by averaging 15.0 points and 6.8 rebounds per night.
  • The Kings made the right decision to send Jackson, Labissiere and Malachi Richardson to the G League this week, Jones contends in a separate story. Sacramento doesn’t have enough playing time to devote to the nine first- or second-year players on its roster. Fox and Mason are joined by rookie Bogdan Bogdanovic in the rotation, and Joerger is reluctant to use too many young players at the same time. “It’s just generally not great practice for us if we put at least four young guys on the floor together,” he said. “It can get ugly.”
  • The Kings’ focus has changed since adding free agents Hill, Randolph and Vince Carter over the summer, according to Tony Jones of The Salt Lake Tribune. Those signings were made by Scott Perry, who has since left the organization to become GM of the Knicks. The new regime reportedly told its three free agent additions and fellow veteran Garrett Temple that the emphasis is now on acquiring a top five pick in next year’s draft rather than contending for the playoffs.

Knicks Notes: Hardaway, Baker, Ntilikina, Anthony

Tim Hardaway Jr. was one of the offseason’s biggest surprise signings; not only because he received a four-year deal, but also because that his former team, the Knicks, signed him to a $71MM pact. Entering his fifth NBA season, Hardaway never posted more than 14.5 PPG in a single season and has never been the focal point of an offense. In a recent interview with Peter Walsh of SLAM Magazine, Hardaway admitted that the criticism of his deal has been a source of motivation.

“I have to use [criticism] as motivation,” Hardaway said. “I take it as those are your fans and they’re coming at you with that. It hurts. But at the same time, you can’t harp on that. You have to go out there and show that you deserve what the Knicks offered. At the end of the day, it’s not my fault. They came to me. I knew that if it was something big, I would have to deliver. I’ve been delivering since last season in Atlanta. I feel like I’m confident and capable of getting what I got money-wise and going out there and playing for the team and playing for the franchise and playing for the city.”

Hardaway, who is still just 25 years old, has played well in his first season back in New York. In 16 games, he has averaged a career-high 17.2 PPG and 4.4 RPG for the Knicks. The former first-round pick has played with some foot injuries this season but has otherwise been a solid secondary option behind Kristaps PorzingisWhile criticism for his contract will persist, Hardaway is confident he can prove he is worth the investment.

Check out other news from the Knicks organization below:

  • Speaking of Hardaway’s foot injury, he recently said he does not have plantar fasciitis in his foot, (via ESPN’s Ian Begley). Hardaway said he is experiencing “just intense soreness with ligaments and stuff.” The Knicks guard intends to nurse the injury and play until it is healed.
  • Ron Baker, who has not played since the team’s third regular season game due to a shoulder injury, is nearing a return, Marc Berman of the New York Post writes. “Ron’s almost there with the shoulder,’’ head coach Jeff Hornacek said. “He practiced [Sunday]. I asked him how it was with contact, he said he tried to avoid real hard picks. He’s getting close to full contact.’’
  • In the same article, Berman writes that the Knicks’ 2017 first-round pick, Frank Ntilikina, removed himself from the Knicks’ win over the Clippers on Monday in the fourth quarter due to flu-like symptoms.
  • Enes Kanter and Doug McDermott, who were acquired in the Carmelo Anthony trade, and free agent signing Jarrett Jack have led the Knicks to a strong early start, Ian Begley of ESPN writes. Giving a similar take, Berman of The New York Post echoed the sentiment, writing that the Knicks’ return for their former superstar has paid dividends early on.
  • Once more, Berman of The New York Post examines the impact general manager Scott Perry has had on the Knicks and their early success this season. In an interesting tidbit, Berman cites sources who say Anthony would have accepted a trade to Portland if talks with the Rockets, Cavaliers, and Thunder fizzled.

Atlantic Notes: Powell, Billups, Ntilikina

The Raptors may be without forward Norman Powell following Sunday’s matchup with the Celtics. A TSN report says that the third-year swingman left the arena on crutches after sustaining a hip pointer but no further details are available at this time.

In 11 games with the Raptors this season, the 24-year-old has averaged 9.0 points and 2.2 assists per game, both modest improvements over his 2016/17 figures.

Shortly after the conclusion of the game, one in which Powell played just seven minutes prior to the injury, the Raptors recalled Alfonzo McKinnie from their G League affiliate.

There’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Not surprisingly, some players on the Knicks aren’t fond of LeBron James suggesting that the club should have drafted Dennis Smith Jr. over Frank Ntilikina. “This is my rookie. This is my team. This is my organization. I cannot just let [James] disrespect [Ntilikina] like that,” Enes Kanter told Fred Kerber of the New York Post. “Frank’s doing an unbelievable job. Every day he’s working really hard.”
  • The Sixers can take pride in the fact that NBA champion and former MVP Stephen Curry is fond of their young players. “These are young guys coming in and doing amazing things. It will be fun to get to know them on the court. They’re tough. Their story is great for the league,” Curry told Chris Haynes of ESPN.
  • For three days this week, Chauncey Billups shadowed Knicks general manager Scott Perry, Marc Berman of ESPN writes. The former Pistons guard has been flagged as a future executive and was even offered the Cavaliers‘ GM job over the course of the summer. Billups’ relationship with Perry dates back to when the guard was in high school.

Knicks Notes: Houston, Hardaway, Anthony, Contract Details, Artis

Knicks assistant general manager Allan Houston feels that New York is on the right track, relays Bob Herzog of Newsday. Although he would not comment on whether Carmelo Anthony would be playing for the Knicks next season, Houston was effusive in his praise of his new bosses, president Steve Mills and general manager Scott Perry.

“Steve and Scott have been intentional in their language about what we want to be,” said Houston. “It starts with identifying what you want to be and then going out and doing it. When I was here playing, it was very exciting and we had an identity. It’s about establishing that identity again. From what I’ve seen, the players are buying into it. I think it’s the first time in a long time that’s been the case.”

Houston also spoke enthusiastically about Tim Hardaway Jr., the Knicks’ notable free agent signing this offseason: “I’m excited for him. People tend to forget he was 20 years old coming into this environment [as a rookie]. Everybody has to grow. Everybody has to mature. He’s developed all the way around and he’s prepared himself for this. That’s the mindset I took. You want to be valuable to your family, your community, your franchise.”

Here are other relevant details regarding the Knicks:

  •  Anthony is headed for an awkward preseason, writes Marc Berman of The New York Post. The star small forward has told the Knicks that he is only willing to waive his no-trade clause for a deal with the Rockets, but the two sides have not been close on a trade. Berman writes that there is a chance that Melo will be forced to attend training camp, which will begin September 25. If Anthony holds out, it will cost him money. If he attends training camp, expect a great deal of awkwardness.
  • Bobby Marks of ESPN reports that both Knicks free agent signees Jamel Artis and Xavier Rathan-Mayes have an Exhibit 10 in their contract. This means that each player would receive a $50K bonus if he is waived and would pend 60 days with the Knicks G-League team. Unlike the protection for Nigel Hayes, the Exhibit 10 bonus doesn’t impact the Knicks cap.
  • In another story penned by Marc Berman, the writer explains how the Knicks ensured that the undrafted Artis would not get away after his impressive Summer League performance. After a forgettable first game, Artis averaged 10.1 points, while shooting over 50% in his last four contests. “I feel great about making the team,’’ Artis said. “It’s just my competitiveness. I feel I bring a lot to the game and am better than a lot of people, but I want to keep being humble. I feel I’m better than some guys that got drafted.’’

Rockets, Knicks Re-Engage On Melo Talks

The Knicks and Rockets have re-engaged on trade talks regarding Carmelo Anthony, Adrian Wojnarowski of reports. The Rockets are yet again searching for a third team to facilitate the deal.

The Knicks and Rockets made significant progress on a deal when Phil Jackson was in charge, but New York’s new GM Scott Perry has been more particular about the package he’d want in return for Anthony. A deal directly between the two sides remains unlikely as New York does not have an interest in bringing back Ryan Anderson.

Anthony remains determined to go to Houston, as he refuses to expand the list of teams in which he’s willing to waive his no-trade clause for, according to Wojnarowski.

The Pelicans, Blazers, and Thunder are among the teams which have expressed interest in adding the 10-time All-Star. However, Anthony has reportedly been uninterested in joining any of those squads. Portland remains interested in acquiring Anthony should he change his mind. Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum continue to recruit Anthony with the hopes that he will change his stance on coming to the Northwest, Wojnarowski adds.

Anthony had previously expressed willingness to waive his NTC to join LeBron James in Cleveland, though Kyrie Irving‘s situation and LBJ’s uncertain future have dulled his enthusiasm for the Cavs.

New York has no problem bringing Anthony to training camp and Woj hears that Anthony beginning the season in a Knicks’ uniform remains a real possibility.

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.

East Notes: Perry, Nader, Irving

In a span of three months, Scott Perry went from being cast aside by a moribund Magic franchise to a sound front office hire for the Knicks. Marc Berman of the New York Post recently wrote about the underdog’s meteoric rise up the executive landscape.

While Perry did little to draw attention to himself under the tutelage of then-Orlando general manager Rob Hennigan, he quickly found himself the executive vice president of a Kings team that desperately needed reinvention.

Perry’s tenure in Sacramento, however, didn’t last. On July 13, three months after leaving the Magic and making a handful of heady decisions for Sacramento, Perry was plucked away from Vlade Divac to be the general manager of the Knicks.

During his brief stint with the Kings, Perry guided the franchise through an impressive draft that yielded the likes De’Aaron Fox, Justin Jackson and Harry Giles. He also landed notable veterans George Hill and Zach Randolph to monitor and mold those youngsters.

One of the more amazing front-office sagas I can ever remember,” longtime NBA executive Pat Williams told Berman for his in-depth long-read. “Scott’s dismissed in mid-April, within 48 hours he’s talking with Sacramento and ends up hired by the Knicks in probably the most important front-office job in the NBA — GM of the Knicks.

There’s more from the Eastern Conference:

  • If Abdel Nader is going to score a long-term role with the Celtics, he’ll need to establish himself as a 3-and-D player, A. Sherrod Blakely of CSN New England writes.
  • The Knicks are Kyrie Irving‘s first choice, according to Adam Zagoria of ZagsBlog. Irving had previously listed four teams that he’d prefer the Cavaliers trade him to last month, the others being the Timberwolves, Spurs or Heat.
  • The fact that Pistons general manager Jeff Bower took time aside to work with then-free agent Eric Moreland on his game during summer league influenced his decision to sign a three-year deal with the franchise, Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press writes. “I’ve been with like three teams now and they can be down to earth as much as they want but they not about to come out and shoot free throws with you and try to help you and see something you,” Moreland said.