Former Knicks GM cautions team on dealing for disgruntled stars

New York Knicks general manager Scott Perry speaks to the media on media day at MSG Training Center
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Scott Perry would know from experience that making a trade for an unhappy NBA star does not always turn out as expected. The former New York Knicks general manager wants the franchise to assess all angles before dealing for any of the marquee players on their radar.

Perry: Several Marquee Players Failed to Find Contentment After Switching Teams

Perry had this to say in regards to the Knicks’ pursuits of Zion Williamson (New Orleans Pelicans) and Karl-Anthony Towns (Minnesota Timberwolves) running the risk of repeating history, as New York Post reporter Peter Botte reported:

“But I don’t have the arrogance necessarily to believe that a guy’s gonna come to our place and he’s gonna be happy just because. I like when players and people in general try to figure out the situation they’re gonna be in. And when you look at these disgruntled stars, how many of them have left a situation where everything was catered around them and gone to the new situation, and it’s the exact same thing for them?”

Perry used several prior examples to justify his statements. One of which is the recent trade that sent James Harden from the Philadelphia 76ers to the Los Angeles Clippers. Harden has thrown off the Clippers’ chemistry and they’ve gone 0-5 since his arrival.

Harden is a microcosm of an issue that has proliferated around the NBA. Superstars such as Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving have also taken advantage of player mobility to force their way out of teams and manufacture their own winning environments elsewhere.

Durant and Irving both made the move to the Brooklyn Nets leading up to the 2019-20 NBA season and failed to win a championship in less than three full seasons splitting up. Perry even went as far back as Dwight Howard forcing his way out of the Orlando Magic back in 2012 and never finding a situation that was as good for him afterward.

Knicks Must Weigh the Positives and Negatives in Trading For 4 All-Star Targets

The Knicks are linked to Williamson and Towns, but also Donovan Mitchell (Cleveland Cavaliers) and reigning MVP Joel Embiid (Philadelphia 76ers). None of them have played for more than two franchises, but a move to New York not leading to championship contention in short order runs the risk of them continuing to seek greener pastures.

Williamson and Embiid are liable to get injured at any time and the former is growing more frustrated with the Pelicans’ losing ways as the season wears on. Particularly in Williamson’s case — as Embiid’s Sixers (8-2) are enjoying the best record in the Eastern Conference — the Knicks’ opportunity to land him continues to ripen with the way his situation is unfolding in New Orleans.

Meanwhile, Towns and Mitchell are immense talents but have failed to see much success in the postseason. They, like Williamson, are young and in the thick of an NBA generation where enough unfavorable elements lead to inevitable departures.

The Knicks are returning to their winning ways and have seen improvement from RJ Barrett as their third scorer behind Julius Randle and Jalen Brunson. However, based on their first 10 games, the Knicks look like they need more help to advance further than the second round of the playoffs this time around.

It’s up to Knicks president Leon Rose to make sure that any deal made to acquire a top-shelf player is met with mutual interest and long-term commitment.

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