Sources: Knicks plan to hire agent Leon Rose as president

Stephen A. questions if Leon Rose can solve the Knicks' problems (4:08)

Stephen A. Smith questions how successful Leon Rose will be as president of the New York Knicks. (4:08)

The New York Knicks are planning to hire Creative Artists Agency player agent Leon Rose as the franchise's president of basketball operations, league sources told ESPN.

Shortly before firing team president Steve Mills this week, Knicks owner James Dolan began exploring the front-office model of hiring a top basketball executive out of the player-agent ranks, sources said. That has gained popularity with the successes of Bob Myers of the Golden State Warriors and Rob Pelinka of the Los Angeles Lakers.

Later Thursday afternoon, Dolan issued a statement, saying the process had not concluded and stressing that he was keeping the Knicks.

"We are actively looking for a new President of the New York Knicks and hope to conclude the search as quickly as possible," he said. "I am not selling, but I am determined to find the right leader for the Knicks who will ensure the long-term success of the team, just as we did with the hiring of Rangers President John Davidson."

Rose has been one of the top agents in basketball for decades, with clients including Joel Embiid, Chris Paul, Devin Booker, Karl-Anthony Towns, Carmelo Anthony and Kyle Kuzma. Previous Rose clients included LeBron James and Allen Iverson.

No formal deal is expected to be announced anytime soon, but formal negotiations are expected to begin shortly after the NBA trade deadline Thursday.

The Knicks are 15-36, the third-worst mark in the Eastern Conference.

Mills, 60, had been the Knicks' president since July 2017 and previously worked as their executive vice president since 2013. Before being promoted to president, Mills had also served as the team's general manager since March 18, 2014. He originally joined the Knicks in 1999 as executive vice president of franchise operations.