2019-20 Game Thread: Knicks vs. Magic: I Wish We Could Make Dolan Disappear

Alakazam!

Today was partially a good day, as the Knicks got a fine return on Marcus Morris.

It was also partially a bizarre day, as Dolan decided that he couldn’t wait until the season was over to hire a new team president.

Typically, if you’re available to become team president in the middle of the season, you probably shouldn’t be chosen as team president. See December 2003 and March 2014.

But hey, maybe Leon Rose will surprise us!

Let’s go? Knicks!

Knicks Trade Marcus Morris to Los Angeles Clippers

Ian Begley has the trade return.

The Knicks get Moe Harkless, the Clippers’ 2020 first rounder, the Pistons’ 2021 second rounder, the draft rights to Issuf Sanon and the right to swap first rounders next year with the Clippers (that does not include the Mavericks pick that the Knicks own, so I’m sure the Clippers were, like, “Uhmmm…okay, sure, if you really want to. You get you suck, right?”).

That’s a fine return. Good job, Perry!

I mean, Morris’ strong play made him an easy guy to trade, but it’s still a fine return.

During the offseaon, it was clear that the Knicks signed one dude who clearly had trade value and it was Morris. Thank goodness they actually traded him.

Did they only have him to trade because one of the multiple midlevel guys they rushed to sign on the first day of the offseaon turned out to be hurt? Sure, but hey, better to be lucky than not!

Woj Bomb: Knicks, Tired of Being Made Fun of For Letting CAA Run Team, Decide to Let CAA Run Team

Woj reports that the Knicks will be naming CAA super-agent Leon Rose as their next president.

This was a terrible process. This was handled about as poorly as you could handle things. This was way too rushed. The whole thing is very embarrassing for the Knicks…

Buuuuut…I could see it working out. We saw CAA destroy the Knicks back in the day, but their goal then wasn’t to help the Knicks win, but to help their clients get what they wanted. To do so, Rose routinely took Dolan to the woodshed, much like Masai Ujiri.

So Rose is at least actively good at his previous job. Will those skills translate to being an NBA president? No idea, but the odds are much better than Phil Jackson or Steve Mills.

So make no mistake, this is still embarrassing. It just might be a case where they walked ass backwards into something that works.

Sportsnet.Ca: Knicks report a sign Ujiri’s time with Raptors could be winding down

Raptors reporter Michael Grange has some interesting thoughts:

Mills, the longtime lackey of Dolan, got the boot Tuesday morning after having traded Kristaps Porzingis for pennies on the dollar and cap room a year ago, and failing to use that cap room to sign – or even meet with – any significant free agents this past summer, then firing his head coach David Fizdale earlier this season when it became clear the dog’s breakfast of a roster couldn’t compete. Again.

It was noon on Tuesday when well-connected ESPN NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted that Dolan was targeting Ujiri to “ultimately oversee New York’s operations.”

This is – of itself – not news. Similar reports were circulating before the Raptors’ NBA title defence began in October, and more earnestly back in December after Fizdale was fired.

On Tuesday night, longtime NBA insider Marc Stein reported that Ujiri might even bring along Raptors general manager Bobby Webster, whose contract matches the term of Ujiri’s and whose wife – while we’re connecting dots – is from a prominent family in the New York area.

A couple of key nuggets bubbled to the surface back in December, too.

I reported that Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment — the conglomerate that owns the Raptors along with the Toronto Maple Leafs, TFC and other holdings — had never offered Ujiri an extension (later confirmed by MLSE minority owner Larry Tanenbaum to Sun Media) and that he was all but certain not to accept one if it were offered before 2021 when his contract is up. The expectation was that Ujiri — who had started off as an unpaid international scout barely 20 years ago — was going test free agency.

Another key detail?

That Ujiri may have an out on the five-year deal he signed in the summer of 2016 — which back then was in part a preemptive strike against the Knicks nosing around — that could allow him to hit the market this coming summer. Whether it’s a formal out or more of a gentleman’s agreement isn’t exactly clear.

But it’s not good business for an NBA team to have an executive of Ujiri’s stature going into the final year of his deal without some assurance about the future beyond that. Forcing him to stay the length of the deal if he’s determined to leave seems pointless.

One way or another, the expectation is Ujiri’s status will be cleared up well before the 2020-21 season.

As one league source put it to me recently: “If something is going to happen with Masai and the Knicks it will happen quick, probably a few days after (this) season is over.”

Taken together, a picture seems clear.

The Raptors haven’t offered Ujiri an extension, he’s determined to become a free agent and he may have an out on his deal this coming summer.

Short answer? Ujiri is gone.

Amusingly, though, Grange notes that there are many in the NBA who think that Dolan is too impatient to wait for this deal to happen and that he’ll just barrel through and hire someone else.

It’s funny that the rest of the league is also aware of Dolan’s Razor.

DRed for POBO!

SNY.com: Knicks, Marcus Morris have strong mutual interest in reaching free agency agreement this summer

From Ian Begley, who is having himself one heck of a debut season for SNY.com:

The Knicks are probably going to get plenty of calls from teams interested in Marcus Morris between now and next Thursday’s NBA trade deadline.

You would expect them to listen to any offers on Morris, because that’s what any team would do in their situation.

But it’s worth noting that at least one team in touch with the Knicks recently was left with the impression that Morris and New York have strong mutual interest in reaching an agreement in free agency this summer, per SNY sources.

There are also rumors that Mills and Perry might get fired, so it is perfectly Knicksy to have these guys not trade Morris, only for them to be fired.

But hey, Morris signed long term is worth those guys getting fired, I guess.

It’s all still quite stupid. But, well, that’s the Knicks for ya.