We’ve discussed these reports before, and they shouldn’t be a surprise:
Knicks president Steve Mills and GM Scott Perry are on the hot seat and could be removed after the season. This time the report comes from the well-connected Ian Begley of SNY.TV.
Several members of the organization said this week that they fully expect Mills will be replaced as team president at the end of the season — if not sooner — unless the club somehow turns things around…
A source said last week that Mills and Perry are under significant pressure following the firing of head coach David Fizdale. If Mills is let go the Knicks will likely turn their attention to Toronto exec Masai Ujiri. Sam Presti also has fans within the organization. If Mills was let go in season, the expectation is that Perry would take over for the remainder of the year.
On head coaching front, we can add that Jason Kidd and Mark Jackson have support within the organization.
Let’s leave the head coaching rumors alone for now, because whoever is the guy with the hammer in the front office next summer is the guy who should make that call.
Two things should concern Knicks fans here.
First, the report states Mills likely is replaced “unless the club somehow turns things around.” There is a long and storied list of horrific trades made by POBOs/GMs desperate to save their jobs. The kind of moves that ties the hands of whoever comes in next for years. If owner James Dolan is serious about bringing in someone with a track record of success — and giving them complete and total authority — then Dolan can’t let Mills start making desperation trades at the deadline to try and save his job. If interim coach Mike Miller can start winning with this roster as is, that’s different (and highly unlikely), but don’t let Mills mess up the future to marginally improve the present.
Second is this question: Will Mills be re-assigned to a new position with the Knicks — so Dolan keeps his man in the building — or is he shown the door? That will be the tell about the future of the Knicks. Phil Jackson, the executive with the most power in the past couple of decades for the Knicks, was not allowed to remove Mills (among other times he was handcuffed in making changes). Not having that power is why at least one big-name candidate told NBC Sports he stepped back during the last team president hiring process. There is zero chance Ujiri or Presti or any other candidate with options takes the job if Mills just gets shuffled around again.
It’s the Knicks and James Dolan, predict what will happen at your own risk.