Written by: Bob Engelhard
The Knicks have just hired Scott Perry formerly of the Sacramento Kings to come in and be our new general Manager. As a result Steve Mills has been promoted to team president and has final say over all basketball related moves. I must admit at first I had no idea who Scott Perry was and it seemed like a “Yes” man type of hire while Steve Mills and James Dolan continue to truly run things for the Knicks. After taking a look at Scott Perry’s resume I have to say it looks like a great hire and hopefully Mills and Dolan give this guy to freedom to build the team the way he sees fit. Right off the bat this is a good hire to me based solely off the fact we hired someone off of a resume and actual NBA executive experience and not off of their name or loyalty to James Dolan. Phil Jackson was a name with no experience and we saw how that played out, so to have a guy who has years of NBA executive experience is a big plus. David Griffin was in the running before pulling out after he found out the Knicks would not let him bring in his own staff and specifically he wanted to fire Allan Houston, a close friend to Steve Mills and James Dolan. Griffin would have been a great choice also due to his experience building the Cavs into a NBA Champion so after he pulled out I was worried. Speaking of Allan Houston we saw him in running for the job after Griffin pulled out and that would have been a complete disaster. No disrespect to Allan Houston but he does not have the experience needed to turn the Knicks around at this point in time. Houston does have some experience being the assistant Gm for the Knicks before Phil Jackson arrived and he is currently the Gm for the Knicks G League Affiliate the Westchester Knicks but that simply is not enough experience to take on the Knicks job which at this point may be the most difficult front office job in sports. Thankfully the Knicks used some logic and hired Scott Perry who comes highly regarded and has the experience needed to turn this franchise around. Now lets take a look at who Scott Perry is and why he is a great choice.
Scott Perry has signed a 5 year contract with the Knicks to take over as the teams general manager. He was under contract with the Kings and only spent a few months with the team before taking the Knicks Job. Due to the fact Perry was under contract the Knicks will have to surrender cash and a 2019 second round pick to attain his services but that is a small price to pay in my opinion to get a qualified guy in here. Perry is 53 years old and has 17 years of NBA front office experience despite never being a General Manager up until now. He is said to have very strong ties with many agents and the league office unlike Phil Jackson who burnt every bridge he ever crossed. Relationships are critical in the NBA since most players are represented by the same people so having good ties to them helps in the free agent recruiting process. Another positive about Scott Perry is he is regarded as one of the top talent evaluators in the NBA. This is crucial to the rebuilding effort because the only way to truly rebuild in this NBA is through hitting home runs in the draft and that is not just including your lottery selections. You need to hit on some late first round picks and second round picks to get over the top in this league. The Spurs got Tim Duncan number one overall and that set them up for success however it was their later selections in drafts through the years that built them into a dynasty. Tony Parker was a pick 28 in the first round, Manu Ginobili was pick 57 in the second round. Another example is the Warriors who picked up Draymond Green with the 35th pick in the second round. These teams hit on their early picks (Duncan, Steph, Klay) and are able to add key players later. This type of player evaluation is what separates the good teams from the great teams. I feel Phil Jackson did a good job of this (Willy Hermangomez, Ron Baker, Damyean Dotson) and if Scott Perry can continue to add solid players through the draft we will be in good shape.
Scott Perry resume includes some very nice things and some failures but lets start with the good
Perry Worked on the Detroit Pistons staffs that went to 6 eastern conference finals and won the NBA championship in 2004.
Perry worked one season with the Seattle SuperSonics now the Oklahoma City Thunder and was assistant general manager when the team drafted Kevin Durant Second overall.
Perry Worked with the Sacramento Kings for the last few months and Lobbied for the team to draft De’Aron Fox and the team was able to bring in George Hill, Vince Carter and Zach Randolph during free agency before Perry left for the Knicks.
The bad was his 5 year run with the Orlando Magic. The team did not win and some questionable moves were made and you can say they did not draft very well however many of those guys that were drafted the jury is still out on such as Aaron Gordon, Elfrid Payton, and Mario Hezonja.
All in all this Scott Perry may do a bad job here but to me he is the right hire. No Glitz, no glamour just a basketball guy who has worked his way up the latter and earned a chance to run a team. The Knicks have a core and a brighter future then I think most people realize so hopefully a guy like Scott Perry can finally get us to where we need to be.