NY Post: Inside look at how Leon Rose rebuilt the Knicks

From Yaron Weitzman (not a Knick beat guy, interestingly, so it’s almost a certainy that someone in the Knicks front office approached him to do a story on the Knicks. That’s not inherently a bad thing, of course, it’s just interesting):

Aller, Thibodeau and Wesley each boast different skills. Wesley’s the relationships guy. Aller’s all about asset management. Thibodeau can squeeze an NBA win out of D-III roster. Rose’s bet is that by combining their skill sets, by leveraging Wesley’s connections and Aller’s strategic thinking and Thibodeau’s willingness to sell his soul if it meant he’d win that night’s game, by creating a system of checks and balances and then having Rose filter it all before making a final call, this group can rebuild the Knicks.

It’s an ambitious plan, but also a dangerous one. How often will Rose be able to say no to his friends? And how much clashing can these friendships endure?

The good news for Knicks fans is that, based on interviews with more than a dozen NBA sources, all with different connections to the Knicks, it appears that Rose has successfully threaded these needles.

For a front office that for years has struggled with infighting, especially among its last regime when those loyal to now-former team president Steve Mills often clashed with those brought in by general manager Scott Perry, this is a major step. Even if the process hasn’t always been smooth.

There are a number of takeaways from this piece, and I think I’ll rank them in terms of importance…

1. Rose is ultimately making the right calls on a lot of the general stuff. We can argue specifics (like what appears to be the third botched lottery pick in four years and the third in a row outside of the top five, where it is harder to fuck up), but despite some overtures to stupidity, he’s avoided making major franchise-wrecking moves. That’s a major step up over past heads of the Knicks. You can say that you don’t trust that a Team of Rivals approach can work long term, but short term, it has worked and the Knicks are set up really well for long term, as well. It could fall apart as soon as this offseason, but I don’t think anything in this article suggests that Team of Rivals can’t work. That’s a good thing.

2. However, that someone is leaking “We’re a Team of Rivals” when the perception of the Knicks up until this point was “They’re just, you know, a normal team” is a bit concerning.

3. Brock Aller sounds brilliant.

4. Scott Perry should perhaps look to sell his house if he doesn’t want to live near his old job.

5. Thibs comes off like he’d be a bad general manager, but we knew that already. He is who he is, and other than that moronic “Hinkie” attempt at an insult, I don’t think we learned anything new about Thibs.

6. That it’s being made public that he wanted to trade all three of Randle, Barrett and Mitch was probably not ideal. But whatever, players are used to this stuff. Not too concerned.

7. Wesley sounds weird, but hey, Quickley has been great, so good for him. It’s somewhat surprising, then, that they didn’t take Richards with #33, right?

Anyhow, #1 is, unsurprisingly since it was ranked #1, my biggest takeaway from the article, so I think it’s all good… for now.