Is it Worth it for the Knicks to Spend a Draft Pick for Masai Ujiri?

There’s been a buzz on the internet about the Knicks acquiring the Toronto Raptors VP Masai Ujiri for their front office vacancy. Poaching an executive from another team isn’t illegal in sports, as there usually requires some kind of compensation for the deed. In May the Raptors acquired a second round pick from Orlando, because the Magic hired Jeff Weltman to be their president.

Ujiri would likely cost the Knicks more than a second round pick. I’d say a good estimate would be a protected first, maybe with sliding protection like top-15 the first year, top-10 the second, top-5 the third, no protection the fourth. (It’s highly unlikely that the Knicks would make it to the third or fourth year, so it’s not too worrisome that the protection decreases at that rate.)

In any case, should the Knicks consider such a transaction?

To answer the question, I’m going to take a comment from yesterday to illustrate my point:

Would you rather:
A) Spend part of your meager savings to hire a highly-touted financial adviser?
or
B) Keep all your savings for investment by a less highly touted adviser?

If you agreed with that analogy, the Knicks should almost certainly keep their pick. However, I don’t think it’s an apt analogy for this organization. My revised version would be:

A) Spend part of your meager savings to hire a highly-touted financial adviser?
or
B) Keep all your savings, but your Uncle Jimmy will be in charge of finding your adviser. The same Uncle Jimmy that has gone after every bad financial fad in the last 20 years. The one who is in a band, still thinks they might make it one day. Jimmy’s considering using the guy from a few years back, you know the one that put everything in housing right as the market collapsed and cost your Uncle a ton of lost years in investments. And then he cost your Uncle a ton of money in a legal defense of sexual harassment scandal initiated by the adviser himself!

The point is I don’t trust Uncle Jimmy. And I’ve been in this situation before with my Uncle Leon.

Leon Hess bought part of the New York Jets from 1963, and gained full ownership in 1984. The Jets were comically bad when Hess ran the team, until 1997. That’s when the Jets poached Bill Parcels from the New England Patriots. It cost the Jets “their first-round draft choice in 1999, second round in 1998 and third- and fourth-round picks in the April draft, plus $300,000 to the Patriots’ charitable foundation.”

It was a hefty sum to be sure, but it changed the franchise. The Jets became instant winners, going 9-7 in Parcels first season, and then 12-4 in his second giving the franchise their best shot at making the Super Bowl since 1969.

As a Jets fan, this era changed my outlook on the team. No longer were the Jets the league’s laughingstock. They were a respectable franchise, like any other, and this dignity outlasted Parcels’ time in New York. In the 10 years prior to Parcels’ arrival the Jets won no more than 8 games in any season. In the 10 years after Parcels left, they had a winning record 7 times. The effect the Big Tuna had on the culture of the organization and the perception of it from those outside of it was immeasurable. It was worth far more than those draft picks.

And Parcels in New York isn’t the only franchise turned by a front office hire. The New England Patriots wouldn’t be the same team without Bill Belichick, and how did the Patriots get him? They poached him from the Jets!

“The Patriots sent the 16th overall pick in the upcoming 2000 draft and fourth- and seventh-rounders in 2001 to the Jets for the rights to Belichick, a 2001 fifth-rounder, and a 2002 seventh-rounder. “

Look at the successful teams in the league. Would a Spurs fan rather have a lottery protected pick for either R.C. Buford or Gregg Poppovich? Would Dallas Mavericks fans have Mark Cuban sell the team for a 2018 first? After yesterday’s trade for Chris Paul, would a Rockets fan want to trade Daryl Morey for Malik Monk or Luke Kennard or Donovan Mitchell?

My point is simply this: the Knicks need respectability more than they need a draft pick. A single (protected) first round pick is unlikely to add more wins than a highly skilled GM. I’ll even take it one step further. Even if the pick was only protected in the top 10 or top 5 or even top 3, it’s worth changing the inner workings of the front office and soon after, the perception of the team by the rest of the league.

Because as a Knick fan, if the team could do it all over again, wouldn’t you want New York to keep Pat Riley and let the Miami Heat draft Walter McCarty?

Knicks Morning News (2017.06.30)

  • [NYDN] Ex-Cavs GM David Griffin to interview for Knicks presidency
    (Thursday, June 29, 2017 9:31:38 PM)

    The Knicks have eyes on Masai Ujiri, but the man recently jettisoned by Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert could also be considered.

  • [NYDN] Jeff Hornacek, Knicks aren’t completely abandoning triangle 
    (Thursday, June 29, 2017 9:25:10 PM)

    On the surface, nothing really had changed for the Knicks.

  • [NYDN] Hard to believe Isiah Thomas is out of mix for Knicks’ job
    (Thursday, June 29, 2017 9:25:04 PM)

    Dolan has made it known that Thomas is his friend and that he values his opinion.

  • [NYDN] John Calipari denies rumored interest in Knicks presidency
    (Thursday, June 29, 2017 7:27:39 PM)

    Calipari might be ready to try his hand at the NBA again.

  • [NYDN] Knicks spell Frank Ntilikina’s name wrong on jersey
    (Thursday, June 29, 2017 1:44:21 PM)

    Maybe they should’ve drafted Malik Monk.

  • [NYDN] Isiah Thomas says he’s ‘not interested’ in joining Knicks
    (Thursday, June 29, 2017 1:03:37 PM)

    Isiah Thomas isn’t interested in a Knicks reunion — or so he says.

  • [NYDN] Knicks aren’t even good at selling jerseys right now
    (Thursday, June 29, 2017 9:17:55 AM)

    The Knicks can’t even compete in selling gear these days.

  • [NYDN] Knicks’ Ntilikina misses Summer League practice with knee injury
    (Thursday, June 29, 2017 9:08:54 AM)

    Knicks top draft pick Frank Ntilikina missed Thursday’s Summer League practice because of a bruised knee.

  • [NYDN] Inside Phil Jackson’s tumultuous three years as Knicks president
    (Thursday, June 29, 2017 8:34:00 AM)

    Former Knicks president Phil Jackson was the highest paid part-time consultant in NBA history — and a three-season disaster.

  • [NYDN] Isiah Thomas a ‘dark horse’ candidate after Carmelo outlasts Phil
    (Thursday, June 29, 2017 7:01:48 AM)

    Jackson’s next book is going to be a doozy, assuming of course that his divorce settlement with James Dolan doesn’t include a gag order.

  • [NYDN] 10 worst moves Phil Jackson made as Knicks president
    (Thursday, June 29, 2017 6:18:52 AM)

    Phil Jackson made plenty of bad decisions with the Knicks, but here are his worst 10.

  • [NY Newsday] Report: Former Cavs GM David Griffin on Knicks’ list of possible replacements for Phil Jackson
    (Thursday, June 29, 2017 11:35:44 PM)

    ORLANDO, Fla. — The Knicks are assembling a list of candidates to replace Phil Jackson as president, and former Cavaliers general manager David Griffin is on it, according to an ESPN.com report.

  • [NY Newsday] Knicks no longer looking for players to fit a system
    (Thursday, June 29, 2017 8:08:09 PM)

    ORLANDO, Fla. — Jeff Hornacek said he texted Carmelo Anthony after Phil Jackson’s presidency ended on Wednesday. But when he was asked if he wants Anthony on the roster next season, Hornacek paused a few seconds, and he never said yes.

  • [NY Newsday] Knicks draft pick Frank Ntilikina sits out practice with sore knee
    (Thursday, June 29, 2017 7:45:38 PM)

    ORLANDO, Fla. — Frank Ntilikina stood on the side with ice wrapped around his right knee as the Knicks’ summer league team went over some plays at the end of practice.

  • [SNY Knicks] Daily News Live: Is Isiah Thomas going back to the Knicks?
    (Thursday, June 29, 2017 5:42:01 PM)

    The Daily News Live panel discusses the report about whether Isiah Thomas is a contender to return to the Knicks front office.

  • [SNY Knicks] Isiah Thomas says he is not interested in becoming Knicks president
    (Thursday, June 29, 2017 5:29:36 PM)

    New York Liberty president Isiah Thomas said in a tweet on Thursday that he is not interested in becoming the Knicks’ president.

  • [SNY Knicks] Frank Ntilikina sits out Summer League practice due to injured knee
    (Thursday, June 29, 2017 1:29:59 PM)

    Knicks’ first-round pick, PG Frank Ntilikina, sat out of practice Thursday due to a bruised knee, per NY Daily News’ Stefan Bondy.

  • [SNY Knicks] Knicks interested in PG George Hill
    (Thursday, June 29, 2017 1:03:44 PM)

    The Knicks are reportedly interested in Utah Jazz PG George Hill, per ESPN’s Ian Begley.

  • [SNY Knicks] Knicks focused on free agency, not Jackson’s replacement
    (Thursday, June 29, 2017 10:18:41 AM)

    Rather than focus on Phil Jackson’s replacement, the Knicks are going to focus on free agency over the next few weeks, per ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne.

  • [SNY Knicks] New York Sports Today: Knicks remain intent on trading Carmelo Anthony
    (Thursday, June 29, 2017 10:01:49 AM)

  • [NYTimes] On Pro Basketball: Jeff Hornacek Tries Being Tactful About the Triangle
    (Friday, June 30, 2017 12:52:13 AM)

    A day after Phil Jackson’s exit, Hornacek said the team’s offense would be a blend of last year’s plus some new things.

  • [NYTimes] Knicks Again Find Themselves at a Crossroads for Free Agency
    (Friday, June 30, 2017 1:23:05 AM)

    With Phil Jackson gone, the team has many options for the roster that center on how quickly they need to move on from Jackson’s play style.

  • [NYTimes] On Pro Basketball: Phil Jackson’s Beloved Triangle: A Symbol of Hubris
    (Thursday, June 29, 2017 10:27:45 PM)

    The offense became more than just a system of basketball; it became a three-sided prison.

  • [ESPN] Sources: Griffin, Knicks talk front-office position
    (Thursday, June 29, 2017 10:40:40 PM)

    Sources: Griffin, Knicks talk front-office position

  • [ESPN] Calipari makes inquiry to Knicks, sources say
    (Thursday, June 29, 2017 6:58:44 PM)

    Calipari makes inquiry to Knicks, sources say

  • [ESPN] Knicks’ next move? Free agency, Melo take priority over president search
    (Thursday, June 29, 2017 11:45:20 AM)

    Knicks’ next move? Free agency, Melo take priority over president search

  • [NYPost] Knicks’ top pick already having trouble staying on the court
    (Friday, June 30, 2017 12:37:39 AM)

    ORLANDO, Fla. — For French rookie point guard Frank Ntilikina, when it rains, it pours. Not only is the guy who drafted him six days ago no longer around, but Ntilikina has barely gotten on the court during the first two days of summer-league practice because of a bruised right knee. It hasn’t been determined…

  • [NYPost] What offense will Knicks run post-triangle?
    (Thursday, June 29, 2017 10:45:51 PM)

    ORLANDO, Fla. — Phil Jackson’s triangle offense is not dead and buried, but it’s moving toward life support. As pre-planned, the Knicks ran a bunch of triangle sets during summer-league practice Thursday, but it’s a long way until late September. Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek, trying to be deferential to his ousted boss, said he can…

  • [NYPost] Knicks will interview former Cavaliers GM David Griffin: report
    (Thursday, June 29, 2017 7:23:05 PM)

    Tim Leiweke, the former Staples Center executive who is heading the Knicks’ presidential search, apparently listens to Jerry West. After West contacted Leiweke to endorse David Griffin, the former Cavaliers general manager contacted the Knicks and will be among the initial interviews, according to an ESPN report. West, a Clippers adviser, had a poor relationship…

  • [NYPost] Knick accused of choking woman says she launched attack on his ‘private parts’
    (Thursday, June 29, 2017 6:00:05 PM)

    A Knicks player who is being sued for choking a woman outside a downtown Manhattan bar says that he’s the real victim — and that the woman launched an attack on his “private parts.” In a new court filing released Thursday, Knicks forward Kyle O’Quinn told a very different story from his accuser, Brooklyn resident…

  • [NYPost] Dysfunctional Knicks misspelled first-round pick’s name on jersey
    (Thursday, June 29, 2017 2:40:36 PM)

    If you thought the firing of Knicks president Phil Jackson would mark the beginning of the organization getting its act together, you might want to think again. The Knicks’ No. 8-overall draft pick, Frank Ntilikina, arrived to one of his first summer-league practices Wednesday to find his last name misspelled on his jersey. What was…

  • [NYPost] Isiah Thomas makes statement about Knicks vacancy
    (Thursday, June 29, 2017 1:16:31 PM)

    Isiah Thomas has “no interest” in replacing Phil Jackson as the Knicks’ president of basketball operations, according to Thomas himself,

  • [NYPost] If this is Jeff Hornacek’s best case for Carmelo Anthony, yikes
    (Thursday, June 29, 2017 11:50:55 AM)

    ORLANDO, Fla. — Phil Jackson is gone, but Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek fell short of giving Carmelo Anthony a full-blown endorsement in regard to his return next season. Asked directly if Anthony will be on the Knicks next season, Hornacek didn’t offer his support. “Carmelo’s a great player,’’ Hornacek said during a wide-ranging interview Thursday…

  • [NYPost] Knicks draft hope’s last week: Hurt knee and backer got fired
    (Thursday, June 29, 2017 10:00:30 AM)

    ORLANDO, Fla. – For French rookie point guard Frank Ntilikina, when it rains, it pours. Not only is the guy who drafted him six days ago no longer around, but Ntilikina has barely gotten on the court during the first two days of summer-league practice because of a bruised right knee. It hasn’t been determined…

  • [NYPost] Knicks’ free-agency options can expand with Phil out of picture
    (Thursday, June 29, 2017 8:16:54 AM)

    ORLANDO, Fla. — Phil Jackson’s ouster as Knicks president has opened up the door potentially to a new wave of free-agent options, but the team’s cap space hasn’t yet opened up, putting the franchise in a murky position with free agency dawning Saturday at 12:01 a.m. Even if the Knicks renounce the rights to Derrick…

  • [NYPost] Cavaliers fall guy getting behind-the-scenes Knicks push
    (Thursday, June 29, 2017 7:11:06 AM)

    From LeBron James to the Knicks’ dysfunction? That’s the move David Griffin could potentially make. Sources told ESPN that running the Knicks is the type of job he covets after being ousted by Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert earlier this month. The Knicks are targeting Raptors president Masai Ujiri, but taking him from Toronto would cost the…

  • Knicks 2017 Summer League Roster Breakdown

    With the Knicks summer league right around the corner, I thought I’d look at some of the lesser known prospects and give my opinion on them.

    Jamel Artis SF, 6-7, 23
    Artis is an empty scorer. Other than scoring and a moderate amount of rebounding (6.7 reb/40), he adds literally nothing else. With 0.7 stl/40 and 0.5 blk/40 he will get roasted on defense. On offense he can hit from downtown (37.8%) and gets to the free throw line (5.2 fta/40), so he’s not really a Novak-style bomber, but seems to able to score in a multitude of ways. But I have a hard time seeing him as a net positive on an NBA team.

    Canyon Barry SG, 6-6, 24
    Yes he from that Barry family. Unfortunately the distance between him and Jon, Brent, and Rick is a chasm. Much like Artis, Barry can kinda hit from downtown (33.6%) and get to the line (6.9 fta/40), but he doesn’t do much else other than rebound at a mediocre rate. Additionally his AST/TO ratio (1.2 ast/40 to 1.7 to/40) is underwater, which doesn’t bode well for his vision.

    Damyean Dotson SG, 6-6, 23
    I spoke about Dotson’s basketball ability previously, and he rates to be a decent prospect. On the other hand it’s also entirely possible that Dotson is an awful person, so there’s that.

    Nigel Hayes F, 6-8, 22
    A combo forward, that really doesn’t project well. Hayes appears to be a power forward in a tweener’s body. A non-existent three point shot (31.4%), sub-par 2p% (48.8%), laughable free throw percentage (58.7% last year, 66.6% career) with weak blocks and steals. Passing is the only thing he does reasonably well (2.9 ast/40), but I’ll still pass on Hayes.

    Dominique Jones, G, 6-4, 28
    Jones played for the Mavs for 3 seasons a few years back before playing overseas, and the big knock against him is that Jones can’t shoot, especially from three (9.5%, that’s right less than 10%). In Iran Dominique only managed to knock down 30.9% of his long range shots, so it doesn’t appear that he’s resolved that issue to an NBA level. Too bad, as it seems he’s a good distributor, and averaged nearly 2 steals (1.8 stl/40) in his last NBA stop.

    Luke Kornet PF, 7-1, 21
    I’m listing him as a PF, because he can’t play center. Well the Knicks will put him at center, but he has no business being there. Why?

    The 7-footer struggles with grit and physicality in traffic, averaging only 6.0 defensive rebounds per 40 minutes, the third worst among centers in the DraftExpress Top 100.

    Yikes! Kornet’s game seems interesting as a shot blocking/three point shooter at F. But his rebounding (7.9 reb/40) was atrocious at college, and his three point shooting was poor as well (32.7%). So as a prospect, Kornet kinda blows.

    Louis Labeyrie PF, 6-10, 25
    One of the Porteur de culottes, we’ve talked about Labeyrie before here and here. The Gonessean has 6 years experience in France, and is a strong offensive rebounder and inside scorer. Recently he’s branched out to three point land, with mixed results. Last I recall he played with a chip on his shoulder, that along with his rebounding might be a good fit alongside Porzingis.

    Maurice Ndour F, 6-9, 25
    Knicks saw 331 minutes of Ndour last year, and his stats were end-of-benchish. He needs to be more productive to get more than garbage time minutes.

    Frank Ntilikina PG, 6-5, 18
    Another of the Porteur de culottes, there are only 3 things you need to think about with this kid. First is that he’s only 18 years old. He’s got 3-4 years before you can make any lasting decision about him.

    Second, it’s dumb to think that the Knicks drafted him as a triangle PG and now that Jackson and his three sided offense is gone, the Knicks are left with a mistake on their hands. This isn’t Steve Kerr or Derek Fisher, and he’s not the NBA version of a fullback, worthless outside of a unique offensive scheme. This is a legit NBA prospect, and if the Mavs traded up to get him, we’d be gnashing our teeth over not having him.

    Third, THE KID IS 18 YEARS OLD. DON’T FORGET IT!

    Marshall Plumlee C, 7-0, 24

    Similar to Labeyrie, minus the French connection, Plumlee is a strong rebounder. And much like Ndour, he didn’t garner enough NBA time (170 minutes) for a real analysis. Besides he’s only 21 years old, so he has room to grow.

    Chasson Randle PG, 6-2, 24

    The guy has a .586 ts% in the NBA. Don’t screw this up New York.

    Xavier Rathan-Mayes G, 6-4, 23
    I don’t understand this selection either. He’s not a great athlete, not a projected point guard, and not a good three point shooter. Heck he didn’t even hit free throws at an acceptable rate (53.0%) his senior year.

    In summary, I’m unimpressed with the Knicks free agent selections. I can only see Jones with an outside shot at making the team, with a 1% chance of Kornet being a three point PF specialist.

    On the other hand the Knicks top 6 of Ntikilina, Randle, Dotson, Ndour, Labeyrie, and Plumlee should make a pretty formidable summer league team. I wonder how they’ll handle Frank/Chasson. Will both start alongside each other? Who will see the lion’s share of the minutes? Who will play with the starters? In crunch time?

    We’ll have to wait until the games to answer these questions.

    Knicks Morning News (2017.06.29)

  • [SNY Knicks] GEICO SportsNite: Ian Begley on Jackson’s dismissal
    (Thursday, June 29, 2017 1:04:01 AM)

  • [SNY Knicks] Daily News Live: Jackson, Knicks part ways
    (Wednesday, June 28, 2017 11:08:12 PM)

  • [SNY Knicks] Knicks remain intent on trading Anthony despite Jackson’s departure
    (Wednesday, June 28, 2017 4:55:24 PM)

    Jackson attempted to trade Anthony during the season and had reiterated that desire last week. He had also irked Anthony with comments he made during the season about Anthony’s style of play.

  • [SNY Knicks] JRSportBrief: The Knicks are a dumpster fire
    (Wednesday, June 28, 2017 3:50:29 PM)

    In the latest installment of JRSportBrief on SNY.tv, JR takes a deeper look at Phil Jackson parting from the Knicks.

  • [SNY Knicks] ‘Somber’ Hornacek addresses Jackson’s departure
    (Wednesday, June 28, 2017 2:00:48 PM)

    Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek was “somber and shaken-looking” when asked about Phil Jackson’s departure this morning at the club’s first summer-league practice in Orlando.

  • [SNY Knicks] Knicks reportedly targeting Masai Ujiri as Phil Jackson’s replacement
    (Wednesday, June 28, 2017 12:00:34 PM)

    One of Ujiri’s first moves when he was with the Nuggets in 2011 was to trade Carmelo Anthony to the Knicks.

  • [SNY Knicks] Spike Lee, others react to Knicks parting ways with Phil Jackson
    (Wednesday, June 28, 2017 1:20:36 PM)

    Knicks fans Spike Lee, Michael Rapaport, and others reacted on Wednesday after news broke that the Knicks and team president Phil Jackson were parting ways.

  • [SNY Knicks] Knicks, Phil Jackson agree to part ways
    (Wednesday, June 28, 2017 8:55:55 AM)

    Knicks owner James Dolan has fired team president Phil Jackson, and is targeting Toronto’s Masai Ujiri as his replacement.

  • [SNY Knicks] Knicks, PG Jeff Teague have mutual interest
    (Wednesday, June 28, 2017 11:40:45 AM)

    The Knicks and free agent point guard Jeff Teague have mutual interest, according to Ian Begley of ESPN.

  • [ESPN] Sources: Knicks’ focus on free agency, for now
    (Wednesday, June 28, 2017 8:45:42 PM)

    Sources: Knicks’ focus on free agency, for now

  • [ESPN] Phil Jackson’s biggest failure was letting the game pass him by
    (Wednesday, June 28, 2017 1:01:31 PM)

    Phil Jackson’s biggest failure was letting the game pass him by

  • [ESPN] Vote: Five burning questions after Phil Jackson era ends in New York
    (Wednesday, June 28, 2017 10:16:14 AM)

    Vote: Five burning questions after Phil Jackson era ends in New York

  • [ESPN] Reaction roundup: Knicks superfan Spike Lee celebrates Phil Jackson’s departure
    (Wednesday, June 28, 2017 11:18:06 AM)

    Reaction roundup: Knicks superfan Spike Lee celebrates Phil Jackson’s departure

  • [NYPost] Phil Jackson aftermath: Five key questions facing the Knicks
    (Wednesday, June 28, 2017 11:46:36 PM)

    Here are five pressing questions the Knicks must answer now that Phil Jackson’s gone: Figuring the triangle is a thing of the past, what is Jeff Hornacek’s offensive plan? People close to Hornacek believe he’ll return to the exciting, rapid-paced motion offense of his Phoenix days that worked so well his first year there. Blending…

  • [NYPost] Phil Jackson joins these men as worst executives in NYC sports
    (Wednesday, June 28, 2017 11:26:57 PM)

    Was Phil Jackson the worst executive in New York Sports history?Here are some of the other candidates: M. Donald Grant Mets Chairman of the Board, 1962-78 Grant is credited for hiring Gil Hodges as manager in 1968, and the Miracle Mets won the World Series the next season. His watch included another NL pennant in…

  • [NYPost] Carmelo Anthony not off trade block despite Phil Jackson’s exit
    (Wednesday, June 28, 2017 10:28:16 PM)

    ORLANDO, Fla. — Even with Phil Jackson out of his way, things aren’t yet peachy-keen for Carmelo Anthony and the Knicks. He can breathe easier but not easy. The Vertical reported the Knicks still are looking to deal Anthony (though they’re unwilling to buy him out). The club, which doesn’t have anyone to replace Jackson…

  • [NYPost] Social media explodes with joy after Phil Jackson’s firing
    (Wednesday, June 28, 2017 4:56:10 PM)

    If social media is any indication, celebrity and everyday Knicks fans are thrilled owner James Dolan fired Phil Jackson. Be warned, some of the happy fans’ language was graphic:

  • [NYPost] Knicks’ ideal Jax replacement is a pipe dream worth pursuing
    (Wednesday, June 28, 2017 3:11:36 PM)

    Maybe, just maybe, if the Knicks can pull this off, they will be the ones committing highway robbery and doing the fleecing. Toronto’s Masai Ujiri is emerging as the hoped-for candidate for the Knicks to replace Phil Jackson. After three years of Knicks wandering in the wilderness under a great coach but dreadful executive, Ujiri…

  • [NYPost] Did Kristaps Porzingis just make Knicks peace offering?
    (Wednesday, June 28, 2017 12:58:15 PM)

    Now that Phil Jackson is out the door, Kristaps Porzingis is back on board with the Knicks. At least, that’s what a quick glance at the young Latvian star’s social media accounts indicate. At 9:31 a.m. Wednesday, the Knicks issued a press release to announce they were parting ways with their president of basketball operations….

  • [NYPost] Chris Paul’s hatred of Doc Rivers led to Clippers exit
    (Wednesday, June 28, 2017 11:44:15 AM)

    Chris Paul wasn’t happy with family coming before team. Paul’s decision to sign with the Rockets — forcing the Clippers to trade him after he opted into the final year of his contract — stemmed from his frustration with coach and team president Doc Rivers favoring son Austin, according to ESPN “SportsCenter” anchor and former…

  • [NYPost] Sad Jeff Hornacek couldn’t find words for Phil firing
    (Wednesday, June 28, 2017 9:34:41 AM)

    ORLANDO — A somber and shaken-looking Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek thanked Phil Jackson for hiring him 13 months ago and called it “a tough day for us.’’ Speaking at the end of the Knicks’ first summer-league practice in Orlando, Hornacek would not take questions from the media, only willing to make a quick statement about…

  • [NYPost] How Phil Jackson spent three years sabotaging the Knicks
    (Wednesday, June 28, 2017 8:49:07 AM)

    Phil Jackson joined the Knicks as team president in March 2014 to much fanfare and paeans to the team’s glory days. He was fired Wednesday having lost the trust of the fan base, the loyalty of the team’s best players … and a lot of games. For every ring he won and Zen Master stroke…

  • [NYTimes] The Triangle Offense, a Simple Yet Perplexing System, Dies
    (Thursday, June 29, 2017 12:48:26 AM)

    The existential basketball strategy reportedly collapsed under the weight of its own pretension in the front office of the Knicks at Madison Square Garden.

  • [NYTimes] Phil Jackson Is Out as Knicks President
    (Thursday, June 29, 2017 2:39:30 AM)

    Jackson, who won 11 N.B.A. titles as a coach with the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers, never translated that success to the front office with the Knicks.

  • [NYTimes] Sports of The Times: Zen Phil Is Gone, but All Is Not Lost for Knicks
    (Wednesday, June 28, 2017 4:29:45 PM)

    The Knicks’ landscape is not as hopeless as it may seem, but the future requires years of rebuilding without interference.

  • [NYTimes] Timeline: How Phil Jackson Failed With the Knicks
    (Wednesday, June 28, 2017 3:32:35 PM)

    He was part of the Knicks’ only championship era, and won a mind-boggling 11 titles as a coach of the Bulls and Lakers. But even Phil Jackson couldn’t resurrect the Knicks. He was dismissed as team president on Wednesday. It was a rocky three-year ride.

  • [NYTimes] Chris Paul Is Traded to the Houston Rockets
    (Wednesday, June 28, 2017 6:15:21 PM)

    According to multiple reports, the Los Angeles Clippers point guard will join James Harden in Houston.

  • [NYTimes] Q&A: Red Auerbach Told Bill Russell, ‘I’m the Coach and You’ll Fit’
    (Wednesday, June 28, 2017 10:13:41 PM)

    Russell, the Boston Celtics star, recalls in a Q. and A. how he and his peers transformed basketball and perceptions of blacks in professional sports.

  • [NYDN] Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek reacts to Phil Jackson’s firing
    (Wednesday, June 28, 2017 9:43:52 PM)

    If the Knicks have a basketball plan for life after Phil Jackson, they kept it from the media on Wednesday.

  • [NYDN] Knicks targeting Raptors GM Masai Ujiri to replace fired Phil
    (Wednesday, June 28, 2017 9:35:11 PM)

    If you can’t beat Masai Ujiri, try to hire him to fix a flaming mess.

  • [NYDN] As Carmelo outlasts Phil Jackson, James Dolan is Knicks’ savior
    (Wednesday, June 28, 2017 9:31:23 PM)

    Jackson’s next book is going to be a doozy, assuming of course that his divorce settlement with James Dolan doesn’t include a gag order.

  • [NYDN] Knicks fans overwhelmed with joy over firing of Phil Jackson
    (Wednesday, June 28, 2017 5:25:59 PM)

    Long-suffering Knicks fans reacted to the departure of team president Phil Jackson as if the franchise had just won a championship.

  • [NYDN] 10 worst moves Phil Jackson made as Knicks president
    (Wednesday, June 28, 2017 4:02:02 PM)

    Phil Jackson made plenty of bad decisions with the Knicks, but here are his worst 10.

  • [NYDN] Knicks fire team president Phil Jackson
    (Wednesday, June 28, 2017 4:00:47 PM)

    The triangle is dead.

  • [NYDN] What Phil Jackson’s firing means for key Knicks personnel
    (Wednesday, June 28, 2017 3:54:01 PM)

    With ex-Knicks president Phil Jackson now gone, what does this mean for the rest of the organization?

  • [NYDN] 5 things Phil Jackson lost during his time in New York
    (Wednesday, June 28, 2017 12:12:11 PM)

    When you look back at the Zen Master’s time in New York, one thing becomes abundantly clear: He lost a lot more than he won.

  • [NYDN] Phil Jackson’s 10 worst days on Twitter
    (Wednesday, June 28, 2017 11:02:38 AM)

    Phil Jackson’s failed tenure as Knicks president unsurprisingly coincided with his failed attempt at sustaining a social media presence.

  • [NYDN] Former Knicks president Phil Jackson on the Daily News back page
    (Wednesday, June 28, 2017 10:28:20 AM)

    As Knicks president Phil Jackson leaves the team after a three-year run, take a look back at his reign on the back pages of the Daily News.

  • [NYDN] Who is Masai Ujiri, Knicks’ reported top target to replace Phil?
    (Wednesday, June 28, 2017 7:26:05 AM)

    Masai Ujiri is the Knicks’ top target to replace fired president Phil Jackson in New York, according to The Vertical.

  • [NYDN] Phil Jackson near the top of NY’s long list of worst sports execs
    (Wednesday, June 28, 2017 7:10:09 AM)

    So all along, James Dolan wasn’t saying “Ask Phil.” He was saying “Axe Phil.”

  • [NYDN] Phil Jackson gone after proving he had no idea what he was doing
    (Wednesday, June 28, 2017 6:31:29 AM)

    He got one last thing wrong, Phil Jackson did, the night before the NBA draft when he was looking for a soft place to land.

  • [NY Newsday] Why Phil Jackson’s exit doesn’t necessarily mean Carmelo Anthony is staying with Knicks
    (Wednesday, June 28, 2017 7:52:00 PM)

    ORLANDO, Fla. — Phil Jackson’s departure means the Knicks won’t be playing the triangle offense anymore, but it doesn’t necessarily signal that Carmelo Anthony will remain.

  • [NY Newsday] Phil Jackson, Knicks part ways
    (Wednesday, June 28, 2017 6:37:10 PM)

    The Knicks parted ways with team president Phil Jackson on Wednesday, the team announced.

  • [NY Newsday] Knicks fan John McEnroe on the departure of Phil Jackson
    (Wednesday, June 28, 2017 5:35:09 PM)

    John McEnroe’s most visible job these days is being a tennis analyst on television, but in his spare time he is an avid Knicks fan, and as such he naturally has some thoughts on the team parting ways with Phil Jackson — most of them positive.

  • [NY Newsday] With Phil Jackson gone, Knicks need to try something different
    (Wednesday, June 28, 2017 1:00:00 PM)

    The Knicks need to give peace a chance. Nothing else has worked in this century, up to and including the maddening, not-so-Zen detour that was Phil Jackson’s three-year ka-ching of a term.

  • ESPN Sources: Jackson and Knicks to Part Ways

    According to ESPN:

    The New York Knicks and team president Phil Jackson will announce that they’re parting ways early Wednesday morning, sources told ESPN.

    Conversations about what was best for the team’s future between Jackson and Knicks owner James Dolan accelerated this week when the franchise decided it would not buy out embattled forward Carmelo Anthony, sources said.

    Jackson, 71, had made it well known that he felt it was best for Anthony and the organization to part ways, both publicly and privately, but Anthony refused to waive his no-trade clause, and the Knicks were determined not to accommodate any request for a buyout. Anthony has two years worth more than $54 million remaining on his deal.

    With no end to the stalemate in sight, and free agency beginning on Saturday, Jackson’s discussions with Dolan accelerated late Tuesday night and the decision was made to part ways.

    I’m shocked at this move, because it’s pretty logical. Jackson managed to get under the skin of the Knicks two best players, so it was clear that given his tenure of under-performance (80-166, 32.5%) Phil would lose the battle if push came to shove. Yet Dolan usually doesn’t make the logical move, especially when it comes to GMs. He stuck with the spontaneous Isiah for too long, and then overruled and eventually forced out the sensible and pragmatic Donnie Walsh.

    It’s ironic that Jackson’s last straw was apparently the “No Trade Clause” he gave to Carmelo Anthony in the first place. Phil could have been fired for a number of other sins: Noah’s contract, failing to get proper return on trades, forcing the triangle on the team, etc. And while one could argue that the Knicks were pretty barren at Jackson’s start, especially with regards to draft picks, Phil didn’t seem to have a a good comprehension of his roster by over-predicting their potential before each season.

    On the other hand, it’s hard to argue that Jackson has left the team in a worse state than he inherited. The Knicks have a few prospects (Porzingis, Ntikilina, Hernandez) and some trade bait (O’Quinn, Lee) so a good GM could make a go of it in short time. The hard part will be dealing with Carmelo Anthony and Joakim Noah, both whose contracts and talents don’t fit a young rebuilding franchise. Now it’s just up to Dolan to find the right GM.

    Oh god.


    Edit 9:28am

    And it’s official.

    Phil Jackson, New York Knicks Agree to Part Company

    NEW YORK, June 28, 2017 – MSG Executive Chairman Jim Dolan and Phil Jackson announced today that, after discussing the future of the New York Knicks, they have mutually agreed to part company. Mr. Jackson is leaving his post as President of Basketball Operations, effective immediately.

    “After careful thought and consideration, we mutually agreed that the Knicks will be going in a different direction,” said Mr. Dolan. “Phil Jackson is one of the most celebrated and successful individuals in the history of the NBA. His legacy in the game of basketball is unmatched. We wish him the best and thank him for his service to the Knicks as both a player and an executive.

    “While we are currently evaluating how best to move forward regarding the leadership of the organization, I will not be involved in the operation of the team,” continued Mr. Dolan. “Steve Mills, the team’s general manager, will run the day-to-day business of the organization over the short term. Tim Leiweke, who brings tremendous expertise and experience in sports franchise management from both Toronto and Los Angeles and is our partner in the Oak View Group, will advise and work with Steve on an interim basis to help develop a go-forward plan.”

    “The New York Knicks will always hold a special place in my heart,” Mr. Jackson said. “This team and this town launched my NBA career. I will forever be indebted to them. I am grateful to Mr. Dolan for giving me the opportunity to return here.

    “I had hoped, of course, to bring another NBA championship to the Garden. As someone who treasures winning, I am deeply disappointed that we weren’t able to do that. New York fans deserve nothing less. I wish them and the Knicks organization all the best – today and always.”

    Knicks Morning News (2017.06.28)

  • [ESPN] Sources: Phil, Knicks to part ways Wednesday
    (Wednesday, June 28, 2017 3:06:00 AM)

    Sources: Phil, Knicks to part ways Wednesday

  • [ESPN] Knicks’ interest in Rose ‘legitimate,’ sources say
    (Tuesday, June 27, 2017 5:14:15 PM)

    Knicks’ interest in Rose ‘legitimate,’ sources say

  • [ESPN] La La: Carmelo prefers to stay close to son
    (Tuesday, June 27, 2017 1:07:51 PM)

    La La: Carmelo prefers to stay close to son

  • [NYPost] James Dolan, Phil Jackson expected to part ways: reports
    (Tuesday, June 27, 2017 10:50:43 PM)

    Knicks owner James Dolan is expected to let team president Phil Jackson go, according to multiple reports.

  • [NYPost] Knicks balk at Carmelo Anthony power play to force way to Cavs
    (Tuesday, June 27, 2017 4:30:54 PM)

    Knicks president Phil Jackson said last week Carmelo Anthony “just as soon” prefers to stay a Knick. Reportedly, he would just as soon be LeBron James’ running mate with the Cavaliers. An ESPN report stated Tuesday that Anthony’s agents have approached the Knicks about getting waived via a buyout in order to sign as a…

  • [NYPost] Carmelo Anthony starts pushing for his ideal Knicks exit
    (Tuesday, June 27, 2017 10:41:05 AM)

    If Phil Jackson can’t bully Carmelo Anthony into accepting a trade, maybe Carmelo Anthony can bully Phil Jackson into a buyout. While Anthony’s preference remains to stay in New York,

  • [NYPost] Knicks’ top pick soaking up LeBron advice from close source
    (Tuesday, June 27, 2017 8:31:48 AM)

    Strasbourg veteran Romeo Travis has given a ton of advice to his teammate of two seasons, Frank Ntilikina, even preaching to him the gospel of LeBron James. Travis is James’ childhood friend from Akron, Ohio, and the former power forward on James’ renowned high school juggernaut, St. Vincent-St. Mary. Yes, Ntilikina, who will wear a…

  • [NYDN] Knicks fire team president Phil Jackson
    (Wednesday, June 28, 2017 1:00:34 AM)

    It was reported earlier Dolan was “weighing the future” of Jackson as president of the team.

  • [NYDN] Knicks prez Phil Jackson set against Melo buyout talks: sources
    (Tuesday, June 27, 2017 9:47:13 PM)

    It’s the game of chicken we all saw coming, between Carmelo Anthony and Phil Jackson.

  • [NYDN] What to watch for in Knicks Summer League
    (Tuesday, June 27, 2017 9:32:34 PM)

    Here are three storylines to follow as the Knicks assemble Wednesday for their first practice in Orlando.

  • [NYDN] La La Anthony says she’s not divorcing Carmelo ‘right now’
    (Tuesday, June 27, 2017 10:40:59 AM)

    La La and Carmelo Anthony are not inching any closer to a divorce despite calling it quits nearly three months ago.

  • [SNY Knicks] Report: Dolan considering parting ways with Jackson
    (Wednesday, June 28, 2017 2:01:43 AM)

    Knicks owner James Dolan is contemplating parting ways with team president Phil Jackson.

  • [SNY Knicks] Carmelo Anthony’s camp reportedly engaging Knicks in buyout talks
    (Tuesday, June 27, 2017 5:00:24 PM)

    Knicks F Carmelo Anthony’s camp has reportedly engaged the Knicks in buyout talks, per ESPN’s Marc Stein.

  • [SNY Knicks] Knicks interested in re-signing Derrick Rose: report
    (Tuesday, June 27, 2017 5:31:20 PM)

    The Knicks are showing “legitimate” interested in re-signing soon-to-be free agent Derrick Rose, according to ESPN, but the team’s level of interest is contigent upon his health and asking price.

  • [SNY Knicks] Carmelo Anthony may prefer to stay with Knicks to be close to son
    (Tuesday, June 27, 2017 10:30:32 AM)

    The Knicks have been trying to trade the 33-year-old Anthony since the middle of last season, with the Celtics and Cavaliers reportedly among the interested teams.

  • [SNY Knicks] JRSportBrief: Is Lavar Ball a genius or distraction
    (Tuesday, June 27, 2017 12:00:07 PM)

    In the latest installment of JRSportBrief on SNY.tv, JR debates whether Lavar Ball is a genius or a distraction.

  • [SNY Knicks] Loud Mouths: Is Carmelo Anthony a fit for the Cavaliers?
    (Tuesday, June 27, 2017 9:00:28 AM)

    The Loud Mouths debate if Carmelo Anthony or Dwayne Wade would be better for the Cavs.

  • [NY Newsday] Rumors fly as Knicks seek to move on without Carmelo Anthony
    (Tuesday, June 27, 2017 8:39:44 PM)

    Carmelo Anthony’s estranged wife said the Knicks superstar’s “priority” is to remain close to their son. But ESPN reported that Anthony’s camp has tried to engage Knicks officials in buyout talks, only to be rebuffed.

  • Knicks Morning News (2017.06.27)

  • [NYTimes] Russell Westbrook Wins M.V.P. at N.B.A. Awards
    (Tuesday, June 27, 2017 3:55:47 AM)

    Westbrook received the honor after a season in which he set a record with 42 triple-doubles.

  • [NYTimes] D’Angelo Russell, Happy for a Fresh Start, Is Ready to Lead the Nets His Way
    (Tuesday, June 27, 2017 1:19:09 AM)

    Criticized by the Lakers executive Magic Johnson for not playing a greater role in Los Angeles, Russell said he would lead by example in Brooklyn.

  • [NYTimes] 8 Reasons the Big3 Might Succeed, and 6 Reasons It Might Fail
    (Monday, June 26, 2017 2:45:39 PM)

    Attendance at Barclays Center for the debut event in the professional three-on-three basketball league was promising, but the rosters were full of journeymen.

  • [NYTimes] N.B.A. All-Rookie Team Includes Four Foreign-Born Players
    (Monday, June 26, 2017 6:07:17 PM)

    Dario Saric and Malcolm Brogdon were unanimous selections to the first team.

  • [NY Newsday] Russell Westbrook named MVP at NBA Awards show
    (Tuesday, June 27, 2017 2:21:19 AM)

    Russell Westbrook’s historic NBA season culminated with him hoisting the Most Valuable Player trophy and breaking down on stage.

  • [NY Newsday] BIG3’s Kenyon Martin says Nets and Knicks fans ‘getting cheated’
    (Monday, June 26, 2017 9:42:19 PM)

    Kenyon Martin played for the Nets and Knicks and was not reluctant to express his opinions during either experience. Now that he is 39 and a mere alumnus of both franchises, he is not about to get shy.

  • [NY Newsday] Knicks’ Willy Hernangomez named to NBA All-Rookie First Team
    (Monday, June 26, 2017 3:56:45 PM)

    Knicks center Willy Hernangomez was named to the NBA All-Rookie First Team, as voted by the media covering the league.

  • [NY Newsday] Knicks set Orlando summer league roster
    (Monday, June 26, 2017 3:52:28 PM)

    The Knicks will have some familiar faces on their summer league roster, and all three picks from last week’s draft.

  • [SNY Knicks] Ntilikina, Dotson among players on Knicks’ Summer League roster
    (Monday, June 26, 2017 3:40:38 PM)

    PG Frank Ntilikina, who the Knicks selected with the 8th overall pick during last week’s NBA Draft, will be on the team’s Summer League roster.

  • [SNY Knicks] Kenyon Martin thinks Knicks fans are ‘getting cheated’
    (Monday, June 26, 2017 3:10:01 PM)

    Former Knicks F Kenyon Martin thinks that Knicks fans are ‘getting cheated,’ per Newsday’s Neil Best.

  • [SNY Knicks] Undrafted rookie Canyon Barry thinks he fits well in Knicks’ triangle
    (Monday, June 26, 2017 1:52:05 PM)

    Undrafted rookie G Canyon Barry believes his game would be a perfect fit for the Knicks triangle offense, per Mike Vorkunov of The New York Times.

  • [SNY Knicks] Willy Hernangomez named to NBA’s All-Rookie First Team
    (Monday, June 26, 2017 12:51:14 PM)

    Knicks C Willy Hernangomez was named to the NBA’s 2016-17 All-Rookie First Team.

  • [SNY Knicks] Marshall Plumlee to play for Knicks in Summer League
    (Monday, June 26, 2017 11:30:28 AM)

    Marshall Plumlee will play for the Knicks in this year’s Summer League.

  • [NYPost] Knicks’ Willy Hernangomez lavished with NBA rookie honor
    (Monday, June 26, 2017 10:34:48 AM)

    The disaster that was the Knicks’ 2016-17 season actually had some bright spots. Honest. One of them was the play of rookie Willy Hernangomez, who was recognized Monday as a member of the NBA’s All-Rookie first team. Hernangomez, a 6-foot-11 center, led all qualified rookies with a 52.9 field-goal percentage while averaging 8.2 points and…

  • [NYDN] Jackson might want Anthony gone, but ball is in Melo’s court
    (Monday, June 26, 2017 9:33:46 PM)

    Either Phil Jackson forgot that Carmelo Anthony holds all the cards, or he simply doesn’t care.

  • [NYDN] Spurs exec, former Knick Monty Williams given Sager Strong Award
    (Monday, June 26, 2017 9:27:17 PM)

    Spurs executive Monty Williams carried on Craig Sager’s legacy Monday night.

  • [NYDN] Hernangomez earns First Team All-Rookie selection for Knicks
    (Monday, June 26, 2017 4:23:42 PM)

    For the fifth time in the last seven years, the Knicks have a First Team All-Rookie selection.

  • [NYDN] Ron Harper believes in Phil Jackson, is in favor of his moves
    (Monday, June 26, 2017 12:07:16 PM)

    Ron Harper, knows a thing or two about winning NBA titles under Phil Jackson, has faith in the Knicks president.

  • [NYDN] Carmelo Anthony posts La La birthday photo on Instagram
    (Monday, June 26, 2017 10:26:56 AM)

    Please don’t La La-leave me.