Ian Begley, SNY.tv | Twitter |
Here's our weekly Knicks mailbag with SNY's NBA Insider Ian Begley...
@KennethAntigua: If, as anticipated, the cap drops next season and with teams at or over the cap, do you think it would be wise for the Knicks to keep Miller, kick the can another year while accumulating assets from teams looking to save $? 2021 is a better year for FA and strong draft, too.
The patient, build-through-the-draft approach that Kenneth describes above makes a lot of sense. I thought New York was going to take that approach under former team presidents Phil Jackson and Steve Mills, but, for various reasons, neither fully committed to that plan for a sustained period.
Will Leon Rose be committed to a long-term rebuild? That's unknown.
Giving young players extended playing time, letting them play through mistake after mistake, losing a bunch of games and building through the draft for multiple seasons takes patience and fortitude.
My guess is that Rose will take that approach unless the opportunity to pursue a star - via trade or free agency - presents itself. But that's just a guess.
The slow build approach certainly makes a lot of sense this offseason. As Kenneth notes, if the 2020-2021 cap falls, the Knicks' cap space could be valuable as a tool to absorb contracts in trades with teams looking to shed salary. New York could obtain a future first-round pick - or another valuable asset - in these trades.
The issue with what Kenneth proposes - as I see it - is keeping Mike Miller for just one season.
That's not a knock against Miller.
He did everything the Knicks could have hoped for during his time as interim head coach. The Knicks - for the most part - competed under Miller and the players seemed to have confidence in him. He also handled his role as the public face of the franchise well amid several off-court issues, including the firing of David Fizdale and Mills.
Because of that, he deserves consideration to be retained as the Knicks' next head coach. And I'm sure he will get an interview with Rose & Co.
But bringing him back for one season can create detrimental issues for the team.
For example: If the players know that Miller is only there for one season, will that hurt his credibility in the locker room? Could it hinder his efforts to teach and develop younger players?
Also, Miller, presumably, will be running a different offense and defense than the coach hired after him. So the returning players would have to spend time learning a new system in 2021-22.
Because of that, I think it makes sense for the Knicks to hire another coach rather than bring back Miller as head coach for one season. That said, Miller certainly deserves consideration for another role in the organization if the Knicks hire another coach.
And I think he'll get that consideration. Rose was impressed by Miller's approach during the brief time they got to work together this season.
With all of that said, we don't know how the coronavirus has impacted the Knicks' financial situation. If the organization determines that it doesn't want to spend big money on another head coach, then maybe bringing back Miller for one season makes the most sense from a financial perspective.
@bromleynyc: Good or bad sign that we are seeing these other GM vacancies filling up before Knicks?
@Dstewart267: Is (Scott) Perry GM next year or is it a fluid situation
(We got a few mailbag questions about the GM before Rose announced that he's bringing back Scott Perry for 2020-21 as GM.)
Here's my take on the Perry hire: Rose and Perry have a strong relationship. They've known one another for more than two decades. They worked closely on the trade that sent Carmelo Anthony to Oklahoma City in 2017 (Rose was Anthony's agent at CAA) and, probably, on many other deals. So if the Knicks have success in 2020-21, you can see the Rose-Perry partnership extending beyond just one season.
Also, given the circumstances surrounding the coronavirus, it made a lot of sense to rely on the scouting of Perry and those who work with him as the Knicks prepare for the 2020 NBA Draft. This is a crucial draft for the Knicks and it would have been difficult for Rose to put together an entirely new scouting staff ahead of the draft with so much in flux.
@knickityknick: Can you set the record straight, does scott perry like Frank Ntilikina?
The Knicks had talks with several teams about Frank Ntilikina trades prior to the 2019 NBA Draft. At one point, one team was under the impression that the Knicks were open to moving Ntilikina for an early second-round pick. I don't know if those talks were being driven by Perry or Mills - or someone else. So I can't say definitively if Perry likes or doesn't like Ntilikina. I assume if he truly didn't like Ntilikina, he would have been traded already.
@Knickityknick: How did Steve Mills get the chop and Scott Perry not? What is the logic behind that?
It seemed like owner James Dolan lost faith in Mills, decided to make a change prior to the trade deadline. At the time, Mills was the most logical person to let go. Perry remained because the Knicks needed a top decision-maker in place for the trade deadline. Rose leaned on Perry upon taking over in New York and decided to retain him.
@knickityknick: If Rockets stink and get knocked out, any chance Daryl Morey becomes Knicks GM?
This was asked prior to the Perry hire. But if the Knicks fail to meet expectations this season - internal or external - there will be a lot of speculation over the GM role. In that scenario, would Rose retain Perry or look for another GM?
@knickityknick: Are the Knicks interested in packaging all of their firsts for Dame Dolla?
Based on what Damian Lillard has said in interviews, it seems like he has no interest in leaving Portland. With that said, ESPN's Stephen A. Smith mentioned in 2018 that Lillard would entertain the idea of playing for the Los Angeles Lakers or Portland Trail Blazers. Some opposing executives echoed those thoughts at the time, saying they believed Lillard would welcome the opportunity to play in a bigger market. But this was two years ago and Lillard has said several times that he doesn't want to go anywhere. So it seems like the chances of this happening are negligible at this point.
@LachieEverett: What would NYKs look like if they had a good team? Would they sell out every game?
I have to give Knicks fans credit here. The Garden has been full often over the past six seasons. These fans - and tourists coming to the Garden during a trip to NYC - have continued to attend games despite the Knicks' poor record. When the Knicks are competitive, the building is electric (ex: 2012-2013 or during Jeremy Lin's run). So it's logical to assume that they would sell out regularly if they had a contending team.
@JasKnicks4: Would be cool to discuss how the 16-17 Knicks didn't reach expectations considering how promising their start to the season was
That Knicks team was definitely playing well early in the season (they started 16-13). I remember Kristaps Porzingis saying early in the season that the Knicks were getting by on their talent. The suggestion at the time was that the team would struggle if it didn't clean up mistakes on both sides of the ball. Porzingis' theory proved correct. New York finished the season 15-38. Injuries hurt the team. Head coach Jeff Hornacek was also put in a difficult spot. He tried to blend the triangle with principles of his previous systems in Phoenix. It led to confusion and resentment from some veteran players. Some players rebelled against running the triangle - a Jackson mandate - and the wheels eventually fell off. Porzingis skipped his exit meeting after the season, Jackson talked to teams about Porzingis trades and was fired a few days after the NBA Draft.
@ACE_ZULLO: Breakdown on how individual players are staying in shape during the quarantine? Are the Knicks mandating or recommending certain conditioning standards?
Miller said recently that the coaching staff, medical staff and performance staff have been in touch with the players on a near daily basis. I don't know the details of the workouts. But Mitchell Robinson has been playing some pickup. I'm sure other players have been as well. Some teams may be able to return to practice facilities on Friday. The Knicks and Nets will not be able to due to city and state coronavirus regulations.