The New York Knicks have had a tumultuous week. While the team has shown signs of improvement under Mike Miller, the roster is still atrocious. As far as the front office goes, the franchise continues to remain in disarray.
New York had many trade pieces on their roster through the trade deadline. In what has been a rather disappointing turnout (even for Knicks standards), the highlight of their trade deadline will be the 1st round pick from the Clippers they hold in this upcoming NBA draft.
Currently, the Knicks sit at a record of 17-37, good for 12th in the Eastern Conference. Despite their overall record, they have put up a fight lately, trailing just 5 games behind the Orlando Magic who currently hold the 8th seed. Led by Julius Randle, New York just had a four-game winning streak, their best since the 2017.
It’s an anomaly to see a team fire their head coach along with their president within the same year, but in 2020, New York has done just that. David Fizdale hit rock bottom, compiling a record of 4-18 before he was axed. At the time of his hiring, it looked like New York was on the right path. However, failure to meet expectations led to Fizdale’s termination early into his second season with the team.
As for Steve Mills, Mills was a longtime member of the Knicks front office, since the early 2000s.
He held various positions within the organization, becoming the team’s president after Phil Jackson was fired. In turn, Mills has been fired and quickly replaced by Leon Rose, as the Knicks will look to follow a trend of hiring reputable player agents for front office positions.
Scott Perry is not likely to return to the Knicks following the 2019-20 season. He joined the Knicks during the 2017 season. Although his free agency acquisitions have not been totally terrible, they’re not great either. Examples of these free agents include Mario Hezonja and Elfrid Payton.
Despite many of them being thrown under the bus and portrayed as scapegoats (i.e. David Fizdale), all of the Knicks’ problems go back to one man. Obviously, that man is James Dolan. Dolan has owned the Knicks since 1999, and during that time he has been cited as one of the NBA’s worst owners, if not the worst in all of sports.
Along with the Knicks, the Rangers have been equally terrible under Dolan. However, with a more hands-on approach to ownership with the Knicks, his neglectful hires during his time as the owner have characterized the team’s culture. It’s not probable to say that he will sell the team either. Until Dolan takes greater responsibility, the Knicks will continue to be a dysfunctional franchise, and a prime example on how not to run a sports team.
The Knicks have little to no continuity with their roster at this point. When Kristaps Porzingis impressed the basketball world during his rookie campaign, it looked like New York had their saviour for years to come. That is, until the Knicks included Porzingis in a 2019 trade with Dallas, for which they got good compensation.
The Knicks trading Porzingis is somewhat of a paradox. The main attraction of playing for the Knicks if you were a free agent was not because of the two max deals they were able to give, but to team up with the unicorn himself. The media as well as sports fans pushed the idea of Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant teaming up with each other during the 2018 season. This turned out to be true, but it was with the other New York team, the Brooklyn Nets.
While RJ Barrett has been a diamond in the rough for the Knicks so far, first round picks Frank Ntilikina and Kevin Knox have struggled in their time with the Knicks. One could argue this is due to the lack of a chance they have received, especially the former. Ntilikina has been overshadowed by several point guards before him, from Jarrett Jack to Trey Burke.
Combined with the dysfunctional front office, a team with little to no cohesion has to finally find a way to put all the pieces together. The change needed in the front office is long overdue.