Ian Begley, SNY.tv | Twitter |
A few notes in the wake of the Knicks' removal of Steve Mills as team president:
We know that there was some division in the organization over the direction to take at the NBA trade deadline. Some wanted to remain patient, hold on to draft picks, and preserve cap space. They felt that was the best way to build out the roster, generally, and to remain in play for top free agents in future summers.
Others wanted to use some future first-round picks in trades for players who could help the Knicks win games this season. That's why New York had engaged with Golden State on D'Angelo Russell, who has three years remaining on the max contract he inked last summer.
The New York Post reported that Mills and GM Scott Perry were at odds over how to proceed with Marcus Morris. As noted on Tuesday, teams in touch with the Knicks since Mills' ouster believe they are much more open to moving Morris.
Did the divide in the organization over trade deadline approach play a role in the timing for Mills?
That's what some have suggested. It certainly seems plausible that the discord played a role in the firing. Though it doesn't add all the way up because Dolan -- like all owners -- has final say on trades. So couldn't he have just vetoed a trade he didn't like?
Something else worth noting: Dolan, as you'd imagine, wasn't happy about fans chanting that he should sell the team during the Knicks' home loss to Memphis last week. Mills and Dolan met several times in the wake of that loss, which is customary.
I have no idea if those chants factored in to the decision to let Mills go. But prior to Phil Jackson's hiring, fans organized a protest of Dolan outside of Madison Square Garden. The club hired Jackson days before the protest, which still took place but was muted.
Stoute excited about Knicks future
Last month, the Knicks hired Steve Stoute and his agency to help bolster the team's brand and ties to the fan base. Since being hired, Stoute has had strong influence with Dolan and the organization, as you'd expect. His hiring was endorsed by LeBron James.
When reached last night by email to ask about his influence in the organization, Stoute said, "I work with Jim and his leadership team...I'm proud to be a part of this organization...We haven't even gotten started yet...There are great things ahead for the NY Knicks."