The Knicks made their front office additions official Wednesday and reportedly soon will turn their attention to a coaching search.
While the current season remains in limbo, the Knicks announced that general manager Scott Perry will remain in place with a one-year contract extension. They also announced the titles for Brock Aller, Walt Perrin and Frank Zanin.
Team president Leon Rose's next task is to decide who will guide the team from the bench. Mike Miller took over as interim coach in December and compiled a 17-27 record after the club parted ways with David Fizdale with the Knicks at 4-18. Miller earned the respect of the front office and players and will be given a chance to keep the job.
Rose, who was the co-director of the basketball division of Creative Artists Agency before leaving for the Knicks, is expected to have CAA clients Tom Thibodeau and Kenny Atkinson at the top of his list. The Athletic reported Wednesday that Atkinson will be interviewed for the position.
The tricky thing for Rose in securing a coach is that there may be more attractive jobs for the top coaches on the market. A number of teams with stars already in place could have openings, including Philadelphia, Chicago, Atlanta and Houston. The Knicks are not expected to begin interviews until a decision is made on whether they will resume the season.
The Knicks could endure another tough season next year unless Rose can navigate drastic roster changes, which could lead to keeping Miller in place or securing a coach with an emphasis on player development such as Atkinson.
Atkinson previously served as an assistant coach with the Knicks specializing in player development, then had a similar role with the Atlanta Hawks before becoming head coach of the Nets. He got the most out of a young roster before being removed during the 2019-20 season.
All three of the front office newcomers already have been working as the long-struggling Knicks prepare to conduct a roster makeover.
Aller, who served in many roles for the Cleveland Cavaliers, most recently as the senior director of basketball operations, was named vice president, basketball and strategic planning.
Perrin, after 19 years with the Utah Jazz, will be assistant general manager — college scouting.
Zanin, the former assistant GM for the Nets who recently worked with the Oklahoma City Thunder as a pro scout, will be assistant GM — pro scouting.
Perry, who had a team option for a fourth season on his contract, signed an extension to remain in place.
“We have assembled a diverse front office comprised of highly regarded and experienced basketball executives who have influenced some of the most successful players and organizations in the league,” Rose said in a statement. “These additions will complement the structure we already have in place and assist us in acquiring talent and developing strategies to build a team our fans can be proud of.”
Jazz executive vice president Dennis Lindsey said in a statement, “Walt Perrin has been a tremendous asset to the Jazz organization over the past 19 seasons. His work overseeing player personnel, including his enormous impact on our draft acquisitions, has been an invaluable part of our franchise’s success and he will be missed. We wish Walt all the best in his new role with the New York Knicks.”