Dan Feldman

Report: Knicks not expected to chase Raptors president Masai Ujiri

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Will the Knicks poach Raptors president Masai Ujiri to run New York’s front office?

ESPN:

In addition, the team is not expected to ask for permission to speak with Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri, sources told Shelburne.

This is what happens when you roll with Phil Jackson for three years, exercise the option on the final two years of his contract then oust him between the draft and free agency. Good replacements are locked into other jobs.

I wouldn’t be surprised if the Knicks’ choice not to pursue Ujiri is based more on his unavailability than New York not wanting him. The compensation required to get him out of Toronto – cash and/or draft picks – could be unfeasible.

The Knicks are fortunate a candidate with the credentials former Cavaliers general manager David Griffin is available.

Report: Adam Silver urged Bucks to consider Danny Ferry for GM

AP Photo/David Tulis
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The Bucks reportedly narrowed their search for a general manager to three candidates: Arturas Karnisovas, Wes Wilcox and Justin Zanik.

Milwaukee hired Jon Horst.

Zach Lowe and Brian Windhorst of ESPN broke down the messy process and the power dynamics between owners Wes Edens, Marc Lasry and Jamie Dinan. It’s a fascinating look into an organization that, with Coach Jason Kidd viewed as de facto general manager, already drew major questions about its structure.

But I’m most intrigued by Adam Silver interjecting himself.

Lowe and Windhorst:

With the search bogged down and complicated, NBA commissioner Adam Silver advised the Bucks, according to sources, to consider former Cavs and Hawks GM Danny Ferry, who is currently a consultant for the Pelicans. The Bucks reached out to Ferry, and he was open to discussing the job, but a formal interview was never scheduled, sources said.

Ferry, of course, was ousted in Atlanta after saying of Luol Deng: “He’s a good guy overall, but he’s got some African in him, and I don’t say that in a bad way other than he’s a guy that may be making side deals behind you, if that makes sense. He has a storefront out front that’s beautiful and great, but he may be selling some counterfeit stuff behind you.”

It matters only so much whether Ferry was paraphrasing from a scouting report written by someone else. He said something racist in the workplace. He didn’t stop afterward to acknowledge any intent. He damaged the Hawks’ relationship with the Atlanta community.

None of these things should automatically preclude Ferry from running another team, but they should raise serious questions whenever Ferry becomes a candidate for another job.

Yet, in a league where there are legitimate reasons to be concerned about the low number of black general managers, Silver keeps sticking up for Ferry.

Report: Bulls expected to waive Rajon Rondo if they can’t trade him

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Not even a couple months ago, Bulls vice president John Paxson said there was a “really good chance” Chicago would exercise Rajon Rondo‘s $13,397,000 team option.

But trading Jimmy Butler to the Timberwolves sent the Bulls into rebuilding. So, now the 31-year-old Rondo would fit even less.

K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune:

Rondo has been included in some recent trade proposals because of the way his contract is structured, including some larger scenarios with Butler before the deal with the Timberwolves materialized. Barring an unexpected trade opportunity materializing Friday, expect Rondo to be waived.

Sources said the Bulls and Rondo’s representatives discussed re-signing the veteran guard at a lower salary. But that’s a long shot scenario.

Rondo still has $3 million guaranteed next season. The Bulls would have to decide whether to stretch that remaining salary within one business day of waiving him. So, presumably, they’d have the weekend – free agency begins Saturday – to discuss with players and teams whether that extra cap space would help this summer. Most likely, they’re better off eating the entire cost now and having cleaner books in 2018 and 2019.

Chicago appears ready to turn over point guard duties to Kris Dunn and Cameron Payne.

Rondo will again face a market that might not be quite enthusiastic about him as he hopes. He’s clearly behind free agents Stephen Curry, Chris Paul, Jrue Holiday, Jeff Teague and George Hill. Rondo is probably lower in the pecking order than Patty Mills and Milos Teodosic, too.

John Calipari denies interest in Knicks job

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John Calipari reportedly reached out to the Knicks about replacing Phil Jackson as team president (and presumably Jeff Hornacek as coach).

Calipari:

Maybe Calipari didn’t realize his agent tries to link him to every NBA opening as standard operating procedure?

Either way, Calipari can still bring this up with Kentucky at contract-extension time – which is whenever he wants.

Knicks misspell Frank Ntilikina’s name on practice jersey (photo)

Mike Stobe/Getty Images
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Frank Ntilikina might have been the best point guard in the 2017 NBA draft for the triangle offense, and the Knicks nabbed the 6-foot-5 French prospect with the No. 8 pick.

But with Phil Jackson gone, does anyone in New York still care about Ntilikina?

Maybe not whomever made this practice jersey:

Gallery: The Knicks Hit the Floor in Orlando for First Practice

The Knicks remain a laughingstock.