The Knicks have named their president and general manager, but only one of them is new to the organization.
As expected, Steve Mills has been promoted from general manager to president, the Knicks announced Friday. Longtime NBA executive Scott Perry has been hired as the team’s general manager.
Perry received a five-year contract to fill the vacancy created when the Knicks parted ways with Phil Jackson, a league source said. He will be the lead voice in the basketball department, but Mills will have the final decision on all moves.
Perry and the Knicks reached a deal Thursday, but because Perry was under contract as Sacramento’s executive vice president, the Knicks and Kings had to agree on compensation. The Knicks will send the Kings cash considerations and a 2019 second-round pick, another league source said.
“Today marks a culture change for our organization where we re-establish the pride, work ethic and responsibility that comes with playing for the Knicks and representing New York,” Madison Square Garden executive chairman James Dolan said in a statement.
“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. His decision to bring Scott on as general manager is a critical first step in transforming this franchise.”
Mills was named Knicks president and general manager in 2013 but relinquished his title of president five months later when Jackson was hired. Mills has been running the basketball department since Jackson was let go June 28.
“Scott will immediately begin to put together a basketball operations department that is among the best in the league,” Mills said in a statement.
Mills, Perry and coach Jeff Hornacek will discuss the team’s strategy — and perhaps their plan for Carmelo Anthony — at a news conference on Monday.
Mills’ statement said the Knicks will build a team “by developing young players and emphasizing athleticism and defense.” The plan has been for the Knicks to build around Kristaps Porzingis, Tim Hardaway Jr., Willy Hernangomez and first-round pick Frank Ntilikina.
“We have several rising young stars in the organization and we expect to add more young talent to this core,” Mills said. “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 often go for the big splash, but in Perry they went for a basketball man who is considered a good talent evaluator and is respected around the league.
Perry, 53, never had been a general manager in his 17 years in the NBA, but he has strong relationships with agents and the league office. He has worked as a scout and in various front-office roles with the Pistons, SuperSonics (now Thunder), Magic and Kings.
“It is an honor to be joining Steve, Jeff and the New York Knicks as we begin a new chapter for this beloved franchise,” Perry said in a statement. “I am excited for the opportunity.”
The first order of business for Mills and Perry will be to figure out what to do with Anthony.
The Knicks and Rockets have been working on trade scenarios, some of them involving three or four teams, to move Anthony to Houston. Multiple reports indicated that Anthony was close to being traded, but the Perry negotiations put those talks on hold.
ESPN reported that with Perry in the fold, the Knicks might want to meet with Anthony and see if they can work on rebuilding a relationship that soured when Jackson was in charge.
Anthony reportedly has agreed to waive his no-trade clause to play with Houston or Cleveland. The Rockets held a news conference Friday to introduce their new point guard, Chris Paul. He and Anthony are close friends, and the two have always wanted to play together.
After filling their front-office void, the Knicks might want to regroup and see if Perry can help them secure a better trade. The holdup had been finding someone to take Houston forward Ryan Anderson, who has three years and $61 million left on his deal.