Roughly two weeks after parting ways with Phil Jackson, the Knicks have named Scott Perry as their next general manager. New York also promoted Steve Mills to president, a role that the 57-year old once held for a brief time in early-2013.
The Knicks had originally targeted more-experienced names such as Masai Ujiri of Toronto, and David Griffin, the former general manager of the Cleveland Cavaliers. Once Griffin pulled his name out of consideration, Mills ushered his first move as acting general manager: signing Tim Hardaway Jr. to a multi-year contract. It is expected that Perry will handle the bulk of the transactions from here on out.
Perry’s first front office position had been with the Detroit Pistons back in 2000, where he helped lead the franchise to six Eastern Conference Finals appearances (2003-2008), two Eastern Conference Championships (2004, 2005), and the 2004 NBA Championship. Afterward, he briefly served as the assistant general manager for the Seattle Supersonics, and was part of the team that selected Kevin Durant in the 2007 NBA Draft.
In 2017, Perry was hired to be the assistant general manager for the Orlando Magic, and brought in Victor Oladipo (2013), Aaron Gordon and Elfrid Payton (2014), and Mario Hezonja (2015). Shortly after his dismissal, the Kings hired Perry to work under general manager Vlade Divac. In addition to the enormous mid-season trade of DeMarcus Cousins, Perry played a role in selecting De’Aaron Fox, Justin Jackson and Harry Giles in the 2017 NBA Draft. He had also been around when the team signed George Hill, Vince Carter, and Zach Randolph in free agency.
“Today marks a culture change for our organization where we re-establish the pride, work ethic, and responsibility that comes with playing for the Knicks and representing New York,” Madison Square Garden executive chairman James Dolan said in a statement.
Mills, who has been under Dolan’s wing for over a decade, had been named the Knicks president and general manager in 2013, but relinquished his title of president after the organization hired Phil Jackson. According to the New Jersey native, the Knicks will focus on “developing young players and emphasizing athleticism and defense.” The franchise is expected to build around Kristaps Porzingis, Tim Hardaway Jr., Willy Hernangomez, and Frank Ntilikina.
The Knicks were 80-166 during Jackson’s three seasons, which equates to the fifth-worst record in the NBA over that span. Realistically, it could be several years before the team returns to a state of contention, but that will all hinge on the status of Carmelo Anthony. The 33-year old has been surrounded by trade rumors involving the Houston Rockets and Cleveland Cavaliers, but the Knicks have yet to pull the trigger on any potential deal.
Immediately after the Perry agreement had been announced, New York broke off trade talks with Houston, which seemingly means that they will now regroup with their new general manager in the fold. Perry’s first task will be a difficult one, as he must decide how to handle his star, albeit disgruntled, forward in Carmelo Anthony. Hopefully, for everyone’s sake, the Anthony saga comes to a close very soon, but with a reported four-way deal involved, it could take a considerable amount of time to hammer out all of the details.