The New York Knicks hit the reset button…again. In a move that continues the pattern of ineptitude that this organization has displayed over the past 20 years, the Knicks relieved team president, Steve Mills, of his duties, leaving yet another void at the top of the organization.
The Same Old New York Knicks
Mills’ tenure was filled with shortcomings and failures. His inability to build a sustainable winner became more evident by the day. Reports suggest that there was discord between Mills and general manager Scott Perry on how to approach tomorrow’s trade deadline. While Perry is in favor of asset acquisition, Mills’ strategy was sloppy. Perry was in favor of trading the valuable pieces the Knicks currently have, like Marcus Morris, for future assets. This is a logical strategy for a team in the Knicks position. However, Mills wanted to keep Marcus Morris and re-sign him this summer. If Mills were good at his job, he’d recognize that the two are not mutually exclusive. There’s nothing that prevents the Knicks from trading Morris for future assets AND re-signing him this summer. Thankfully, the front office found a way to get it done.
Mills was also interested in trading for Warriors guard D’Angelo Russell. This was another flawed idea given the fact that the Knicks could have signed Russell this past offseason. Instead, Mills reportedly offered young assets to acquire Russell. The rumored deal would have sent Frank Ntilikina, Kevin Knox, Bobby Portis, Allonzo Trier, and a 2nd round pick to Golden State for Russell. All four of the players the Knicks would have traded are 25 or younger. It is counterproductive to trade young talent during a rebuild. This was yet another example of Mills’ ineptitude.
It’s Still Dolan’s Knicks
Most general managers would likely agree with Perry’s assessment of the team and his strategy heading into the trade deadline. That was a positive sign for Knicks fans to know that Perry at least has a clue. The same could not be said for Mills, who was meddling and preventing interim head coach Mike Miller from using his rotations. Perry will have a lot of work to do in a short period. The rest of this season will be an audition for Perry to keep his job. The likelihood of that is small, given James Dolan’s track record.
Dolan tends to crumble the paper after writing his name. He is notorious for keeping his front office executives and coaches on a very short leash. Over his 20 year tenure as the Knicks owner, Dolan has always opted for the quick fix rather than the proper rebuild. He has told the fanbase that he is not involved in basketball operations and yet he continues to be at the forefront of the Knicks problems. Where Dolan goes from here will make or break this organization going forward.
Who Can Fix The Knicks?
Masai Ujiri, Sam Presti, and Kenny Smith were all been named as potential candidates to take over as president. However, Leon Rose was Dolan’s selection. Both the Warriors and Lakers went that route by hiring Bob Meyers and Rob Pelinka, respectively.
Having James Dolan in charge of picking the next team president was the equivalent of having a 5th grader come up with healthcare reform. Unfortunately, this is the hand we’re dealt with. While Rose has the connections and common sense to approach the rebuild of the team with care, it’s yet to be seen if he can turn this team around after years of disgrace.