Scott Perry

Knicks Notes: Randle, Fox, Perry, Arcidiacono

Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau has admitted to associates that he hasn’t been able to get Julius Randle to exhibit the same selflessness he had last season, an NBA source tells Marc Berman of The New York Post. Randle’s downturn has been a major reason why the team has fallen into the race for the play-in tournament after finishing fourth in the East a year ago.

Many observers believe the $117MM extension that Randle signed during the offseason has changed his approach to the game, as he now feels that he has to take on a greater part of the scoring load to justify the contract. Berman also cites incidents where Randle has looked disinterested — he didn’t join a team huddle in a game last week and he has walked away from teammates who have been knocked to the ground rather than helping them up.

The Knicks are willing to consider everything heading into the deadline, sources tell Berman, even a deal involving Randle, who emerged as a team leader last season while capturing Most Improved Player honors. Berman suggests that Randle’s regression, along with his battles with fans and media, may convince team president Leon Rose that he’s no longer suited for a leadership role.

There’s more from New York:

  • The KingsDe’Aaron Fox may be a natural target for the Knicks, who have been searching for a point guard for years, Berman adds in the same piece. New York general manager Scott Perry drafted Fox when he worked in Sacramento, but Berman says it’s no longer clear how much influence Perry has in the organization. He doesn’t accompany the team on the road, and the only executive currently making road trips is William Wesley, who Berman said has surpassed Perry in the team’s power structure.
  • Derrick Rose needs to be active at the trade deadline to have any hope of turning this season around, argues Mike Vaccaro of The New York Post. Vaccaro considers RJ Barrett, Rose, and Quentin Grimes to be the team’s untouchable players, along with Cam Reddish, only because the Knicks just gave up a first-round pick to acquire him. Everyone else, Vaccaro adds, should be available in the right deal.
  • Ryan Arcidiacono‘s 10-day contract expired over the weekend, Berman tweets. The Knicks will keep the roster spot open for now, which could be an advantage heading into the deadline. Arcidiacono didn’t see any game action during his time with the team.

Blazers Notes: Billups, Olshey, Roster Moves, Lillard, Eversley, Perry, Prince

In a fascinating piece released mere minutes before former president and general manager Neil Olshey was fired by the Trail Blazers, Jason Quick of The Athletic details how he views head coach Chauncey Billups as a poor schematic fit with Portland’s flawed roster — constructed by Olshey.

Even before star Damian Lillard was announced as being injured, it was clear that Portland was not functioning as a cohesive unit. Quite the opposite, in fact. Quick writes that the team had grown accustomed to ex-coach Terry Stotts‘ freedom on both ends of the court, and Billups wants to instill more structure and accountability, with a more aggressive defense and more ball movement on offense.

However, Billups’ stern exchanges have seemingly demoralized the group, and Quick asked Billups how he thought it was going over with the players.

I think pretty good, but at the end of the day, it’s not easy,” Billups said. “It’s not easy all the time to hear when you are not doing what you are supposed to do, especially from the coach. All I care about is I believe we should play one way. I know what wins, I know what’s important. When we don’t do it, obviously I’m going to always bring it to the table, to those players, to those people. And I know it’s not always going to be well received.

But I know it’s the best thing for the team, it’s the best thing for the player and at the end of the day, if you are mad or upset, if you actually really want to win and be a good teammate, you go home and think about that, look yourself in the mirror, and you are going to realize what I was saying was right, you know? With no agenda at all other than for us to try and get better. So, I can ride with that. That’s just kind of who I was as a player, who I am as a person, and I will be consistent there.”

Quick believes that while it is a talented group of players, the roster that Olshey built doesn’t make sense under Billups. He mentions the fact that the Blazers have three 6’3″ guards (Lillard, CJ McCollum, and Norman Powell) all starting, which leads to them being exploited defensively. Quick also says that Olshey’s infatuation with McCollum and refusal to trade him hurt the team. He thinks a roster shakeup is absolutely necessary in order to break the team out of its early season funk. The Blazers are currently 11-12.

It’s a great article from Quick and worth reading in full for subscribers of The Athletic.

Here’s more from Portland:

  • ESPN’s Bobby Marks thinks the Blazers should explore trading Lillard (video link). He believes Lillard may have peaked as a player, pointing to his age (31), huge contract, and the high number of minutes he’s played over the years. Marks thinks it could be worth it to try and extract maximum value for Lillard before it’s too late. However, he acknowledges that the situation will be very tricky for whomever takes over the front office, as Lillard is one of the best players in franchise history.
  • John Canzano of The Oregonian is happy the Blazers pulled the plug on the Olshey, and believes that it will galvanize the organization and fan base.
  • Bulls general manager Marc Eversley and Knicks general manager Scott Perry are both candidates to replace Olshey as GM, according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports (via Twitter).
  • A source tells Quick of The Athletic that Grizzlies VP of basketball affairs Tayshaun Prince, who had previously been mentioned as a possible candidate to replace Olshey, is not in the running for the role (Twitter link).

Knicks Notes: Trades, Vaccinations, Robinson, Walker

Knicks president of basketball operations Leon Rose indicated the club is well-positioned to make a big trade and he’s ready to pounce when the opportunity arrives, Marc Berman of the New York Post writes.

“We’re going to be aggressive as far as knowing what’s going on and as far as being on top of things and looking at opportunities,’’ Rose said. “But at the same time, we’re going to be prudent and disciplined in decisions that we make that are going to take into account positives and negatives, short term, long term, all those factors in a decision-making process.’’

The Knicks own 15 picks in the next four drafts, which could come in handy in trade talks.

We have more on the Knicks:

  • Players must be fully vaccinated to practice or play in New York City unless they are granted a religious or health-related exemption. That won’t be an issue for the Knicks, according to Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News. GM Scott Perry said everyone on the team and staff has received the shots. “They took this thing very seriously and took the responsibility to get that done,” Perry said.
  • The club is taking a wait-and-see approach regarding Mitchell Robinson and contract extension talks, according to Berman. Robinson’s return from a broken foot is still “a work in progress,” according to Rose. That gives the front office pause in terms of an extension until Robinson returns to the court. “As far as a contract goes, we love Mitchell Robinson and we look forward to seeing him play,’’ Rose said.
  • Kemba Walker was slowed by knee injuries over the last two seasons with the Celtics and coach Tom Thibodeau said Walker will have input regarding load management, Bondy writes. “This guy has managed his career a long time. So what’s the best for him? … Was it better for him (to sit in back-to-backs) in the end or was it not?” Thibodeau said. “So I think you have to take the information in, you have to talk to him, you have to see how it feels. You have to talk to the medical people and go from there. I don’t want him to limit himself in terms of what he can do.”

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 SNY.tv.

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 SNY.tv. 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.