Scott Perry

Atlantic Notes: Fultz, Knicks, Brown, Crabbe

The Sixers need to make some hard decisions this offseason on where top pick Markelle Fultz fits into their future plans, David Murphy of the Philadelphia Inquirer argues. Now that they’ve established themselves as a playoff team, they have to decide how to get as deep as possible in future seasons with Fultz playing a bigger role. If Fultz isn’t a playoff-caliber two-guard by this time next year, the dream of a championship season could be dashed, Murphy continues. Ideally. Fultz will soon establish himself as a legitimate third option but they have guard against the possibility it never happens, Murphy adds.

In other news and musings around the Atlantic Division:

  • Knicks president Steve Mills and GM Scott Perry have taken a much more thorough, well-thought-out approach to their coaching search, unlike predecessor Phil Jackson, according to Marc Berman of the New York Post. The amount of candidates interviewed has reached double digits and the duo has traveled across the country and over the Atlantic Ocean in order to find the right fit, Berman continues. They don’t pretend to know everything and that’s a stark contrast to Jackson, who stopped listening and learning, according to Berman.
  • Celtics swingman Jaylen Brown vows to play Game 2 of the series against the Sixers on Thursday, as he told A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports. Brown, who was a game-time decision in the opener, is nursing a right hamstring injury. “I’ll be back. I’m playing,” he told Blakely, though he added, “I’m basically trying to come back in two days from a two-week type injury.”
  • Nets guard Allen Crabbe promises to improve his efficiency and production in his second season with the club, according to BrooklynNets.com. Crabbe averaged a career-best 13.2 PPG and set the team record for most 3-pointers made, but his long-range percentage dropped from 44.4% to 37.8%. “I didn’t have the consistent season I wanted to have,” Crabbe said. “But I got one year under my belt [in Brooklyn] and I know where I can be effective on this team and what I can bring – what I can do. Just go into off-season and come back a completely different player.”

Knicks Rumors: Howard, Blatt, Leonard, Mudiay

Juwan Howard, the latest name to emerge in the Knicks’ coaching search, has a powerful connection in the team’s front office, notes Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News. GM Scott Perry is a former assistant at the University of Michigan, and his first year with the Wolverines was Howard’s last season there.

Howard will be the 10th candidate to talk to Perry and team president Steve Mills, who were in Europe this week to interview former Cavaliers coach David Blatt and to scout Luka Doncic, along with other prospects. Despite the long list of interviewees, Bondy hears that the Knicks’ next coach may be someone not yet mentioned by the media.

There’s more news from New York:

  • Howard has a long list of former teammates with coaching experience who could potentially fill out his staff if he gets the Knicks job, notes Bryan Kalbrosky of HoopsHype. The list includes Adrian GriffinNick Van ExelDavid VanterpoolJames PoseyDarvin HamJamaal MagloireGod ShammgodRafer Alston and John Lucas III.
  • If the Spurs make Kawhi Leonard available in trade the summer, the Knicks should go all in, even if it costs them Kristaps Porzingis and this year’s first-rounder, contends Tommy Beer of Forbes. Leonard’s scoring ability, defensive prowess and record of big-game performances make him a player that a franchise can be built around, Beer argues. He adds that the Knicks are hoping to construct a contender by surrounding Porzingis with top-level free agents, but their recent record in free agency casts doubt on that plan. He cautions that New York should make the deal with the Spurs only if team doctors determine that Leonard’s quad injury won’t be a long-term issue and he agrees to a four-year extension.
  • One-time Knicks coach Larry Brown remains optimistic about Emmanuel Mudiay‘s prospects in New York, relays Marc Berman of The New York Post. Brown tried to recruit Mudiay to SMU before he opted for China, and he believes the 22-year-old can excel by getting into top physical condition. “I don’t think Emmanuel has ever been in the greatest shape of his life,” Brown said. “That position you have to be an elite athlete and in unbelievable shape. I don’t know until he got to the NBA if he has ever been coached the way he needed to be coached.” Mudiay was placed in the league’s concussion protocol after hitting his head late in the season and was just cleared for basketball activities last week.

Knicks Notes: Fizdale, Blatt, Offseason Plan

While the NBA’s playoff teams opened their respective series over the weekend, the Knicks moved forward with their search for a new head coach, lining up interviews with a list of candidates that includes David Fizdale, David Blatt, Jerry Stackhouse, Mark Jackson, and Mike Woodson.

For Fizdale to become a serious candidate for the Knicks, the former Grizzlies coach will have to explain what happened with Marc Gasol in Memphis, writes Marc Berman of The New York Post. The relationship between the Grizzlies’ star center and head coach fell apart by the end of Fizdale’s tenure with the team, and the Knicks can’t afford to have a similar situation happen in New York — after multiple players clashed with Jeff Hornacek, hiring a coach who has “connectivity with the locker room” is a top priority for the Knicks, Berman says.

As for Blatt, he was a former Princeton teammate of Steve Mills, and the Knicks president is the one pushing Blatt’s candidacy in the club’s search process, per Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News. According to Bondy, it’s “hard to imagine” that GM Scott Perry is as bullish on Blatt, so if the former Cavs coach gets the job, it will be “entirely on Mills.”

Here’s more on the Knicks:

  • Mills and Perry spoke recently about being approached by Knicks fans who want them to be patient with the rebuilding process, and the front office duo insists owner James Dolan is on board with that approach too (link via Ian Begley of ESPN.com). “Jim has given us the room to be patient, which – again – is not something that’s been common in this organization,” Mills said. “Patience hasn’t been one of our biggest attributes here. … I don’t have any doubt that he’s comfortable with the plan we’re on and (that he) wants us to be patient and not do things that are just, you know, for the quick hit.”
  • Perry was hired the Knicks after many of last year’s offseason moves had already been made, so what he does with the roster this summer will tell us a lot about his plan for the franchise going forward, says Moke Hamilton of Basketball Insiders.
  • Al Iannazzone of Newsday takes an in-depth look at what’s next for the Knicks as the offseason gets underway, and examines which of this year’s players will – or won’t – be back for the 2018/19 season.

Knicks Notes: Porzingis, Hornacek, Perry, Dotson

Kristaps Porzingis‘ brief appearance at Saturday’s game for Lavtian Heritage Night provided a reminder of how valuable he is to the Knicks, writes Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News. New York is 6-26 without Porzingis, who isn’t expected to return from a torn ACL until November or December. The Knicks are a different team without his ability to space the floor on offense and protect the rim on defense

The organization faces a difficult decision this summer about whether to offer Porzingis a $150MM extension or to wait another year and deal with him as a restricted free agent. Bondy writes that there are advantages to delaying the offer and seeing how Porzingis heals while maximizing 2019 cap space, but securing a long-term commitment as quickly as possibly would provide peace of mind and fend off any resentment that Porzingis might have left over after skipping his exit interview last year.

There’s more this morning out of New York:

  • The Knicks’ intentions with coach Jeff Hornacek should be clear in a few days, Bondy tweets. This year’s exit interviews with players are set for Thursday, but he notes that coaches who are going to be fired typically don’t get to participate.
  • Resolving the coaching situation is just part of the agenda for Scott Perry in his first full offseason as Knicks GM, states Al Iannazzone of Newsday. Perry also needs to find a small forward, resolve the situations at point guard and center, improve the team’s athleticism and find ways to develop younger players. Iannazzone suggests that Troy Williams might be a long-term answer at small forward, or the Knicks may try to get Villanova’s Mikal Bridges in the draft.
  • Damyean Dotson set a few team milestones with his 30-point, 11-rebound performance Friday night, writes Fred Kerber of The New York Post. He was the first Knicks rookie guard to reach those numbers in the same game in 54 years and the first rookie in the organization to do so off the bench since the league began keeping track of starts in 1970/71. A second-round pick, Dotson has spent much of his first season in the G League. “We had a lot of guys at that position. That makes it tough. He’s done a good job of bouncing back and forth from the G- League. He gets good reps there and that’s what we use that for,” Hornacek said. “He practices every day with the guys and that’s going to make him a better player. I think that it has.”

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 SNY.tv.

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.