It is very early in the term of office of the new Knicks president Leon Rose. Any negative criticism of him from fans or the media is premature and is based on frustrations resulting from the failure of his predecessors. Some are already wondering why he couldn’t land an impact player like Gordon Hayward in the current free agent cycle.
Prior to assuming the position of President of the Knicks last March, Rose was one of the most powerful agents in any sport as co-director of basketball for the Creative Arts Agency. He knows the NBA landscape as well as anyone and has close relationships with many owners, executives and most importantly, players in the league.
These ties can lead Rose to be able to create an architecture that attracts transformative free agents, but they are undeniably valuable. It’s unclear how Rose and his staff will achieve their goals of lifting the Knicks from the ashes. Early signs, however, are that their framework is not significantly different from what Isiah Thomas, Phil Jackson, Steve Mills, and others who held the title of Knicks President for the past two decades, have introduced.
The models, with a few variations, followed by all of the above former executives hired by Knick’s owner James Dolan, were solid in philosophy but woefully inadequate in execution. The principles weren’t new. Draw and develop players into cornerstones. Add sensible business to the roster. And sign one or more heart stars if none of the draft picks appear.
The Knicks, despite finishing sixth in 2008 (Danillo Gallinari), eighth in 2009 (Jordan Hill), fourth in 2015 (Kristaps Porzingis), eighth in 2017 (Frank Ntilikina), ninth in 2018 (Kevin Knox) And third last year (RJ Barrett)), they still need their Stephen Curry (design a choice before Hill in 2009) Giannis Antetokounmpo (design 15th in 2013) or Luka Doncic (design no.3 in 2018) Find.
They failed to attract star free agents that LeBron James, a former Rose customer, had left at the altar in the summer of 2010. The high-profile trades also did not lead to the establishment of a successful foundation. Thomas ‘2004 takeover of Stephon Marbury resulted in disaster and only one playoff appearance for the Knicks in the Brooklyn Legends’ over four seasons with the franchise.
Carmelo Anthony, like Marbury, a native of Brooklyn, joined the Knicks in February 2011 as a true superstar from the Denver Nuggets to support Gallinari. Though he wore the Knicks by and large and led them to three consecutive postseason when he arrived, their lowest run was in 2013 when they lost 4-2 to the Indiana Pacers in the Eastern Conference semifinals.
After a run-in with Jackson, who was hired as Knicks president in 2014, Anthony, another ex-Rose customer, was sold to the Oklahoma City Thunder in September 2017 because the team hadn’t made the playoffs for their last four years in New York made.
Now Rose has stood up and is trying to change the Knicks culture of loss that has spanned much of the past 20 years. Perhaps his first draft pick, Obi Toppin, another Brooklyn-based product that was ranked eighth overall in the first round last week, will become a productive pillar of rebuilding. He hired a proven head coach, Tom Thibbodeau, who was part of the Knicks winning years as an assistant coach from 1996 to 2004.
The Knicks have not made any major signatures since the free agency phase began last Friday. To date, they have a cap area of around $ 40 million, a sizeable number to track Impact players next summer. That group could potentially include the Antetokounmpo of Milwaukee Bucks and Anthony Davis of the Los Angeles Lakers.
The odds aren’t in the Knicks’s favor today that both will hit the open market. Still, Rose can hope that relationships, wisdom, skillful scouting, a strong player development program, and a little luck will bear fruit that he’s long eluded the franchise