Scott Perry has been hired by the New York Knicks as their general manager in a deal league sources told ESPN is for five years.
Perry, formerly the Sacramento Kings' vice president of basketball operations, will report to Steve Mills. The Knicks are planning to sign Mills to a new multiyear deal as president, promoting him from GM, league sources said. Phil Jackson was dismissed as president of basketball operations shortly before the free-agency period.
As part of the Perry deal, the Kings and Knicks agreed on a future second-round pick and cash considerations as compensation, sources told ESPN.
"Today marks a culture change for our organization where we reestablish the pride, work ethic and responsibility that comes with playing for the Knicks and representing New York," Knicks owner Jim Dolan said in a statement announcing the hires, the terms of which were undisclosed. "I'm confident that Steve is the right person to take on this role, and ensure that we return to one of the elite teams of the NBA. He's got an ambitious plan that centers on building a young team focused on player development, communication and teamwork."
Mills will still retain ultimate authority in the front office, but Perry will be given freedom to operate as he chooses, league sources said. He will be the day-to-day voice running the basketball side. New York was seeking a GM who won't push for an overhaul of the front-office staff, league sources said, as well as an executive who can coexist with Mills.
One of the first items on the agenda for Mills and Perry is figuring out where things stand with veteran forward Carmelo Anthony.
"Today is a new day for this franchise," Mills said in the news release. "Scott will immediately begin to put together a basketball operations department that is among the best in the league. We will all be united in implementing our strategy, which is to build our team by developing young players, emphasizing athleticism, length and defense. We have several rising young stars in the organization and we expect to add more young talent to this core. Our message to our fans is clear: we will be disciplined in sticking to this strategy, hold our players and staff accountable to the high standards that we have set for ourselves, and deliver results."
The Knicks are pausing trade talks centered on Anthony and want to pursue a conversation with the 10-time NBA All-Star about possibly reincorporating him into the organization, league sources told ESPN.
After talking with the Houston Rockets and Cleveland Cavaliers for nearly a month to engineer deals for Anthony, the Knicks told both teams that they're stepping back from trade talks for a short time, league sources said.
The Knicks want Anthony to meet with the new front office and coach Jeff Hornacek in the near future, but it's unlikely that Anthony will respond with eagerness about a plan to stay with a franchise that has been pushing him -- publicly and privately -- to accept a trade out of New York, league sources said. Anthony has been focused on getting a deal done, especially with advanced talks that surrounded Houston. The Rockets were working on a four-team trade with the Knicks that had gained traction throughout the week, league sources said.
The Rockets have been eager to partner Anthony with Chris Paul and James Harden. It is unclear at this point what Anthony prefers, but the way in which Mills and Perry handle the situation will play a major role in the short-term direction of the organization.
Since parting ways with Jackson, the Knicks, under Mills, made the decision to sign Atlanta Hawks guard Tim Hardaway Jr. to a four-year, $71 million contract, a move that has been met with shock inside and outside the organization. Mills and Perry will guide a Knicks team that has missed the playoffs in each of the past four seasons and has just one playoff series win in the past 17 seasons.
Prior to putting a hold on the Anthony talks, the Knicks were telling people around the league that they wanted to put together a younger roster, as evidenced by the Hardaway Jr. signing and the Knicks' decision to select 18-year-old Frank Ntilikina with the No. 8 pick in the 2017 NBA draft.
In Perry, the Knicks have hired an executive with extensive experience. Days after he was dismissed as the Orlando Magic's assistant GM in April, the Kings hired Perry as the front office's No. 2 to GM Vlade Divac. Perry played a part in selecting Kentucky point guard De'Aaron Fox with the No. 5 pick and making a draft-day trade to move back and draft twice more in the first round, selecting North Carolina's Justin Jackson and Duke's Harry Giles.
In free agency, the Kings signed veterans George Hill, Vince Carter and Zach Randolph. Perry has a front-office history that includes stops in Seattle, Oklahoma City, Detroit, Orlando and Sacramento. He was part of helping GM Joe Dumars build an NBA champion and perennial contender with the Pistons.
The Knicks' move to hire Perry came days after former Cleveland Cavaliers general manager David Griffin pulled his name out of the Knicks' front-office search last week, a source told The Undefeated's Marc J. Spears. Sources said the Knicks and Griffin were at odds over Griffin not having full authority on basketball decisions and over his preference to bring in his own staff. No formal contract offer was made.