Knicks GM Scott Perry, week after hire, still stranger to James Dolan

ByIan Begley ESPN logo
Saturday, July 22, 2017

New York Knicks general manager Scott Perry revealed on ESPN's SC6 that he has not yet met team owner James Dolan.

Perry, who was officially hired as Knicks GM last Friday, said he'd dealt with team president Steve Mills throughout the hiring process rather than Dolan.

"I have not met with him yet, but I'm looking forward to that," Perry said of Dolan.

It's a bit unusual for an owner to hire a top executive without meeting him, but Dolan said last month he will not play a role in day-to-day operations of the club going forward.

Dolan was mostly hands-off during ex-president Phil Jackson's tenure, but had been involved with management during previous regimes, including executive Donnie Walsh's tenure.

When Dolan announced that he and Jackson were parting ways last month, the owner said that he would "not be involved in the operation of the team."

That Perry hasn't met Dolan seems to support that idea.

Perry added on Friday that he had no reservation about taking the Knicks' GM position in light of Dolan's history of involvement with management decisions.

"No, I really didn't," Perry said. "Again, Steve Mills, who I worked with very closely in this process, I have a lot of trust and faith in him. The organization has been very welcoming of me. I'm very confident in who I am as a person and am confident in the vision that's been set here.

"[I] feel really good about the narrative about the New York Knicks being a positive one going forward in terms of whether it be functionality [or] the ability to attract players here in the future. I just really feel good about the situation."

Mills and Perry are in charge of a Knicks team that has missed the playoffs the past four seasons and has won only one playoff series in the past 17 years. The executives plan to build around the young core of Kristaps Porzingis, Tim Hardaway Jr.,Willy Hernangomez and rookie Frank Ntilikina.

One of the biggest decisions facing Mills and Perry is how to proceed with Carmelo Anthony. Anthony, sources told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, expects the Knicks to continue in their attempts to trade him.

The Knicks have discussed a potential Anthony trade with several teams, including the Houston Rockets, but have yet to find a package that's to their liking.

"There's a lot of time in front of us right now, and like I said, we're just going to continue to do our due diligence and keep the lines of communication open with all sides involved, and it will take its natural course," Perry said.

The Knicks are also interested in trading forCleveland Cavaliersguard Kyrie Irving. Irving told the Cavaliers that he'd be willing to be traded to the Knicks, Miami Heat and Minnesota Timberwolves, league sources told ESPN's Chris Haynes. Irving identified theSan Antonio Spursas a preferred destination during his recent meeting with the Cavs, sources told Wojnarowski.

The Knicks have strong interest in acquiring Irving via trade, but as of Friday night, they were not willing to include Porzingis in any potential deal, league sources told ESPN. The Knicks, sources said, would consider including Anthony and future first-round picks in a package for the All-Star point guard. The Cavaliers' interest in such a package is unclear.

Under Jackson, the Knicks considered trading Porzingis after the 21-year-old skipped his exit meeting due to the dysfunction and drama surrounding the club.

Perry was asked about Porzingis' issues with the club on SC6.

"It's nothing that I can look back on," Perry said. "...I'm looking forward [and] obviously excited about the opportunity to get a chance to work with someone like Kristaps and to continue to watch him grow and develop as a player, and that's kind of where we're at right now."

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