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Jackson discusses draft, free agency, Isiah hire

Jesse D. Garrabrant/Getty Images

New York Knicks president Phil Jackson touched on a number of topics in a Q&A with the New York Times.

Below are a few highlights of the conversation:

Knicks open to trading their draft pick: Knicks general manager Steve Mills, who was interviewed alongside Jackson, said the team has fielded calls from “a lot of teams” about trading the No. 4 overall pick in next week's draft. Jackson said the team is “exploring all our possibilities.”

ESPN’s Chad Ford reported that the Knicks have considered trading the pick if Jahlil Okafor, Karl-Anthony Towns and D’Angelo Russell are off of the board.

Jackson said the Knicks will likely take a wing or a guard in the draft and try to fill their deficiencies in the front court through free agency.

“We’re going to have to search out some big men,” he said.

Phil says he deserved votes for Exec. of the Year: When he last spoke to the assembled media, Jackson said he was surprised he didn’t receive any votes for executive of the year. It was perceived as a joke.

“I wasn’t kidding,” Jackson said. “I was really serious. We had a yeoman’s job of having to get rid of a lot of fat on our roster to get to where we are. I saw [Lakers GM] Mitch Kupchak got a vote, so I know some people valued what the Lakers were doing obviously.”

Jackson added that he decided to send Mills to represent the Knicks at the draft lottery because "I can see Steve having a lasting tenure here."

"I see Steve as the future of this franchise," he said. "I mean, I’m here for a time, and I’m trying to help turn it around the best way I can," he said.

Phil says Isiah won’t advise Knicks: Jackson said Isiah Thomas, who was recently hired as president of the New York Liberty and served as president of the Knicks for five seasons, won’t be advising the Knicks.

“So we’re not giving them any advice, and it’s going both ways,” Jackson said.

Jackson said Dolan consulted him on the hire over dinner a month before it was announced.

“We said, 'Are you cognizant of the fact that this at least has the look of putting the fox in the henhouse?' Is that a good term?” Jackson said. “In reviewing the history of it, we were told what the approach was by the Garden and how it went down.”

Explains his tweet: Jackson created a bit of a stir when he sent out a tweet that questioned whether teams that rely on 3-point shooting could succeed in the playoffs. He explained the tweet, which concluded with “How’s it goink?," in the interview with the Times.

“I just wanted to see someone come back to me with statistics: Is 3-point shooting in the playoffs as consistent as it is in the regular season? Does your 3-point-shooting percentage change because you’re in the playoffs? No one figured that one out,” Jackson said. “And that’s probably me being obtuse to leave it open at the end. But 'goink' is one of those New York expressions that we use, and I will tell you this: I learned something. Someone sent me the fact that if you look it up on Urban Dictionary, you’ll find out what it means in today’s society."

Jackson said it wasn’t just a typo.

“'Goink' is a castoff expression, right? Instead of, 'How’s it going?,' it’s, 'How’s it goink?'" Jackson said. “It turned out to be either a combination of a mixed ethnic group: part Korean, part Chinese. Or it’s a vernacular term for how do you deal with a sexual partner.”

Jackson dedicated to the triangle: Jackson made it clear that he’s committed to running his triangle offense -- and he will recruit players based on their ability to fit the system.

“I don’t think the offensive system has to take a back seat to anything we do,” Jackson said. Later, he added: “Players who are resistant to it shouldn’t be here.”

Jackson delivered another not-so-subtle message to potential free agents when he talked about branding.

“We’re not interested in guys who are just interested in the money and in their branding. They have to have a little more to their life than just those selfish desires,” Jackson said.