Knicks officially hire Kings’ Scott Perry as general manager
The Knicks officially have hired Scott Perry to become the team’s general manager and promoted Steve Mills to team president.
The team announced the moves Friday after the Knicks and Kings worked out compensation for Perry.
Terms of Perry’s deal were not announced, but a league source confirmed Perry signed a five-year contract to fill the Knicks’ front-office vacancy created when the team parted ways with Phil Jackson. Perry will work under Mills, who replaces Jackson.
The two sides reached a deal Thursday. But since Perry was under contract as Sacramento’s executive vice president, the Knicks and Kings had to agree on compensation.
The Knicks will send the Kings cash considerations and a 2019 second-round pick, a league source confirmed.
“The Kings are forging a strong future for themselves and while this was a tough decision I could not pass up a promotion to become the general manager of the New York Knicks and a chance to be near my daughter in New York,” Perry said in a statement released by the Kings.
The Knicks often go for the big splash, but in this situation they went for a good basketball man who is considered a solid talent evaluator and is respected around the league.
Perry will be the Knicks’ lead voice in the basketball department, a source said. Mills will have the final decision on all moves. Perry also will let Jeff Hornacek coach the team the way he wants and won’t meddle, the source said. Jackson made Hornacek run the triangle offense.
The 53-year-old Perry has never been a general manager in his 17 years in the NBA. But he has strong relationships with agents and the league office. He has worked as a scout and in various front-office roles with the Pistons, SuperSonics (now Thunder), Magic and Kings.
Perry worked in the Pistons’ basketball department when they built the roster that won the 2004 championship. He only spent three months with the Kings but he worked closely with GM Vlade Divac in what appeared to be a solid offseason for Sacramento. The Kings selected or acquired De’Aaron Fox, Justin Jackson, Harry Giles and Frank Mason on draft night. In free agency, the Kings added veterans George Hill, Zach Randolph and Vince Carter to help their young core.
“The Kings are a hardworking team with a lot of heart and I have no doubt they are on a path to enormous success,” Perry said. “I wish them all the luck in the world but I have a feeling they won’t need it.”
Perry will have a huge undertaking trying to help fix the Knicks, who are in the process of figuring out what to do with Carmelo Anthony.
The Knicks and Rockets have been working on trade scenarios, some of them involving three and four teams, to move Anthony to Houston. Multiple reports indicated that Anthony was close to being traded. But the Perry negotiations put those talks on hold.
ESPN reported that with Perry in the fold, the Knicks may want to meet with Anthony and see if they can work on rebuilding the relationship between the star player and organization that soured when Jackson was in charge.
But Anthony had already agreed to waive his no-trade clause to play with Houston or Cleveland. The Rockets introduced their new point guard Chris Paul on Friday. He’s close friends with Anthony, and the two always wanted to play together.
It’s hard to imagine Anthony would want to stay with the Knicks after they publicly and privately made it clear to him they were going in a different direction. He would join a contender with Houston rather than be with a rebuilding team.
It’s understandable if the Knicks want to regroup after filling their front office void, and see if Perry could help them secure a better trade. The holdup had been finding someone to take Houston forward Ryan Anderson, who has three years and $61 million left on his deal.
The Rockets promoted Friday as “Chris Paul Day” so they didn’t want anything to take attention from that. It’s conceivable that they will reengage the Knicks on Anthony talks in the near future.
All indications, even after Jackson left, was that the Knicks wanted to go forward without Anthony.
When they announced the signing of Tim Hardaway Jr. to a four-year, $71 million contract earlier in the week, Mills released a statement that read in part, “He will fit right into the core of players that make up a roster emphasizing youth, athleticism, accountability and unselfishness.”
Anthony doesn’t fit that description. The plan had been to build around Kristaps Porzingis, Hardaway, Willy Hernangomez and firstround pick Frank Ntilikina. It’s too soon to know if that has changed, but Perry will have input in that.
ESPN first reported Perry’s contract terms, and USA Today the compensation that was agreed upon by the Knicks and Kings.