Knicks add Theo Pinson off waivers, and waive Allonzo Trier

The New York Knicks have claimed guard/forward Theo Pinson off waivers from the Brooklyn Nets.

The team has also waived guard Allonzo Trier.

Pinson, 6-5, 212-pounds, appeared in 51 games over two seasons with Brooklyn (2018-20), averaging 3.9 points, 1.8 rebounds and 1.5 assists over 11.3 minutes. He also played in nine games (all starts) for the Long Island Nets (NBA G League), averaging 15.1 points, 6.6 rebounds and 5.1 assists over 31.8 minutes. He holds career averages with Long Island of 19.5 points, 6.1 rebounds and 5.9 assists over 34.8 minutes in 43 games (43 starts).

The Greensboro, NC-native was originally signed to a two-way contract by Brooklyn on Sep. 19, 2018 after going undrafted out of the University of North Carolina in the 2018 NBA Draft. He went to back-to-back NCAA Championship games with the Tarheels (2016, 2017), securing a National Championship in 2017.

Trier, 6-4, 200-pounds, averaged 9.7 points, 2.6 rebounds and 1.7 assists over 19.9 minutes in 88 games (four starts) over two seasons with New York. He was originally signed by the Knicks to a two-way contract on July 3, 2018.

Knicks add Jared Harper off waivers, and waive Kadeem Allen

The New York Knicks today claimed guard Jared Harper and his two-way contract off waivers from Phoenix.

The Knicks also waived guard Kadeem Allen.

Harper, 5-11, 175-pounds, appeared in three games for Phoenix and 33 games (33 starts) for Northern Arizona as a two-way player for the Suns this season. He averaged 20.8 points (seventh in G League), 5.7 assists and 2.8 rebounds over 29.8 minutes for Northern Arizona, ranking second in the league in usage percentage (30%) and third in free throws made (111).

The Mableton, GA-native was originally signed to a two-way contract by Phoenix on Jul. 18, 2019 after going undrafted out of Auburn University in the 2019 NBA Draft.

Allen, 6-1, 200-pounds, averaged 5.0 points and 2.1 assists over 11.7 minutes in 10 games this season for New York. He was originally signed by the Knicks on Jul. 25, 2018 and then again to a two-way contract on Jan. 14, 2019.

Knicks hire William Wesley, Alex Kline and TJ Zanin

The New York Knicks hired William Wesley today, as Executive Vice President, Senior Basketball Advisor.

Also today, the Knicks hired Alex Kline and TJ Zanin as scouts.

“We are very excited to announce the hiring of William Wesley, someone that I have known for over 40 years and consider to be family,” Knicks President Leon Rose said. “He is one of the most well-connected and respected people in the basketball community and he will be a tremendous asset and resource to both myself and the New York Knicks.”

Per the New York Post, “Wesley, a longtime friend of Knicks president Leon Rose and former consultant at CAA, is known for his connections with stars around the league. He also previously worked with Thibodeau, considered a frontrunner to become the Knicks’ next head coach, while at CAA.”

“My long history with and respect for Jim Dolan and Leon Rose, as well as the chance to be part of the New York Knicks made this an opportunity I wanted to pursue,” Knicks Executive Vice President – Senior Basketball Advisor William Wesley said. “I look forward to joining the current staff and moving the organization toward a successful future.”

Per the New York Times, “for decades, Wesley has been known as one of the most powerful outsiders in the industry. His actual influence has been a source of much speculation and puzzlement — he rarely gives interviews or talks about his business — and has almost entirely been linked to his networking ability. But his meticulously low profile belies what many have described as the huge sway he wields in basketball.”

And per New York Newsday, “Wesley’s biggest strength is in connections throughout the professional and college ranks. With the possibility of a huge amount of cap space in what could be a huge free-agent market next summer, Wesley and Rose are the Knicks’ latest chance to provide an alluring home to stars, something the organization has long failed at, including last summer when they could not even get a sit-down with any of the stars on the market.”

Zanin joins the Knicks after working as a regional scout for the Dallas Mavericks last season, following two seasons with the Charlotte Hornets as director of college scouting (2015-17). Prior to his time in Charlotte, the West Chester, PA-native spent time with the Brooklyn Nets (2013-15) and the Los Angeles Clippers (2010-13) as a scout. In addition to his NBA responsibilities, Zanin worked with USA Basketball and Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski as a scout for eight years (2009-17), contributing to four gold medals (2010 and 2014 FIBA World Championships and 2012 and 2016 Olympics).

Kline joins the Knicks after spending the last four seasons with the New Orleans Pelicans as a scout and basketball operations assistant (2016-20). Prior to joining the NBA, the Pennington, NJ-native ran the recruiting website “The Recruit Scoop”, which wrote detailed scouting reports on high school and college prospects. In 2013 and 2014, he was named to Forbes 30 under 30 list, at the ages of 18 and 19.

Knicks head coaching job candidates

The Knicks need a new head coach. Whoever gets the job will be in a rebuilding situation, and presumably focused primarily on developing young talent, because that’ll be a more realistic goal than one that involves racking up lots of wins. It’s a high-profile job, regardless of the players on the roster. New York City and the Knicks will always be in a spotlight.

Here’s the New York Post:

Leon Rose and the Knicks are widening their net for prospective head coaches, adding fresh names to an experienced pool that has grown to seven known candidates.

Having already been linked to established names such as favorite Tom Thibodeau, former Nets coach Kenny Atkinson, interim coach Mike Miller and former Knicks coach Mike Woodson, they are now planning to interview a trio of assistant coaches: Ime Udoka of the 76ers, Pat Delany of the Magic and Chris Fleming of the Bulls, according to The Athletic and ESPN…

The 62-year-old Thibodeau, who previously coached the Timberwolves and the Bulls, is considered the front-runner for the job.

The Knicks this past season were led in scoring by forward Marcus Morris (19.6 PPG), forward Julius Randle (19.5 PPG) and rookie shooting guard RJ Barrett (14.3 PPG).

The team’s primary young talent is Barrett and center Mitchell Robinson.

Expect the Knicks to at least attempt big moves in the free agency department. Many of the team’s best players last season were on short-term contracts. Much of the roster is subject to change.

Knicks hire Brock Aller, Walt Perrin and Frank Zanin; sign Scott Perry to extension

The New York Knicks made following hirings today: Brock Aller as vice president, basketball and strategic planning, Walt Perrin as assistant general manager in college scouting, and Frank Zanin as assistant general manager in pro scouting.

The Knicks also signed general manager Scott Perry to extension, through the 2020-21 season.

“We have assembled a diverse front office comprised of highly regarded and experienced basketball executives who have influenced some of the most successful players and organizations in the league,” Knicks President Leon Rose said. “These additions will complement the structure we already have in place and assist us in acquiring talent and developing strategies to build a team our fans can be proud of.”

Per the New York Post, “the hirings of Aller, Perrin and Zanin puts the futures of current basketball operations staffers Gerald Madkins, Harold Ellis and capologist Michael Arcieri in serious doubt. Their contracts expire in August and all were hired by Perry — with Ellis known as a key hard-working facilitator in trade talks. It is all but assured player developmental chief Craig Robinson is on the way out too. Robinson was added by former president Steve Mills as they are both former Princeton teammates.”

Aller joins the Knicks after spending seven seasons with the Cleveland Cavaliers in various roles. After four seasons as the team’s senior director, strategic planning, he was named senior director of basketball operations for the Cavaliers in July 2017. Aller played a key front office role in the Cavaliers 2016 NBA Championship run, which ended Cleveland’s major league championship drought after 52 years. Prior to his time in Cleveland, Aller spent nine years (2005-14) in Detroit working directly with Dan Gilbert and Cavaliers ownership as a liaison and advisor on business and basketball operations.

Perrin joins the Knicks after spending 19 seasons with the Utah Jazz, the last 12 years as vice president of player personnel. Perrin’s responsibilities included evaluating players on all levels and assisting the general manager with potential player acquisitions. Perrin assisted the Jazz in drafting All-Stars such as Gordon Hayward, Paul Millsap and Deron Williams. He also acquired All-Stars Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell in separate draft day trades with the Denver Nuggets. During Perrin’s tenure, Utah won three divisional titles and qualified for the playoffs nine times, including a trip to the Western Conference Finals in 2006-07. Prior to joining the Jazz, Perrin spent time with the Detroit Pistons (1993-02) and Minnesota Timberwolves (1991-93) in various roles including assistant coach and director of scouting.

Zanin joins the Knicks after three years as a pro scout with the Oklahoma City Thunder. He previously served as the assistant general manager for the Brooklyn Nets (2013-16), where he began his tenure with the team as a pro personnel scout (2010-12) and then director of player procurement (2012-13). In his four seasons with Brooklyn/New Jersey the Nets qualified for the playoffs three times. Prior to joining the Nets, he spent nine seasons with the Philadelphia 76ers in a variety of roles including video intern (1999-00), video coordinator (2000-03), advance scout/assistant coach (2003-06) and pro personnel scout (2006-08). During his tenure with Philadelphia the 76ers made the playoffs six times including advancing to the NBA Finals in 2001.

Pro sports teams in New York now allowed to hold training camps

Normal life in and out of sports has been largely put on hold during the coronavirus pandemic. Here’s the New York Post reporting some New York state-wide news:

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s push to get professional sports going again in New York took another step forward Sunday.

Cuomo said during a press conference at Jones Beach Theater in Wantagh that as of Sunday, professional sports leagues can begin holding training camps in New York, as leagues work on their plans to resume play amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“Starting today, all the New York professional sports leagues will be able to begin training camps,” Cuomo said.

Such re-openings need to be done carefully and methodically. Of course, pro sports teams know this, and have been preparing and planning for a while now.

Knicks legend Willis Reed holds a special place in team history

Everyone knows that center Willis Reed is one of the most important players in New York Knicks history. But there’s also one very specific accomplishment that separates him from the team’s other former greats. Heres’ the New York Post:

The 1 and only… Knick to win MVP of the NBA Finals: Willis Reed

The Time: May 8 1970; May 10, 1973.

The Background: The Knicks, despite being a charter member of the NBA, had never won a championship despite being in the Finals three straight years (1951, ’52, ’53), losing twice to George Mikan’s Minneapolis Lakers and once to the Rochester Royals (featuring a point guard named Red Holzman). The Knicks also lost NBA Finals trips in 1972, ’94 and ’99).

Clyde Frazier deserves a very honorary head-nod here, as the article goes on to point out.

New Yorkers look forward to the day when it isn’t just Reed who has won this honor.

Knicks reportedly hiring Frank Zanin as assistant GM

Here’s the New York Post with some Knicks news:

Leon Rose’s latest addition likely would have earned Kobe Bryant’s approval.

One day after the new Knicks president brought aboard longtime Jazz executive Walt Perrin as the assistant general manager in charge of college scouting, Rose continued his front office makeover by adding former Nets assistant general manager Frank Zanin, who will have the same title with the Knicks, focusing on pro personnel.

Zanin, who has spent the past four seasons as an advance scout for the Thunder, was endorsed by Bryant for the Nets’ GM job in 2016. Zanin and Bryant first became acquainted playing basketball in the Philadelphia-area, where Zanin’s career began as a scout for the 76ers.

And here’s New York Newsday:

Zanin most recently served as a scout for the Thunder, a role he held the last four years. Prior to that, he served a variety of roles for the Nets, joining Billy King, who he had worked for with the 76ers, as a pro personnel scout and then earning promotions to director of player procurement and then assistant general manager…

During his time with the Nets, Zanin was credited with playing a role in signing Mirza Teletovic and re-signing Deron Williams, who coincidentally was drafted by the Jazz when Perrin pushed for the Jazz to trade up to get him.

Knicks will reportedly hire Walt Perrin for front office

Here’s New York Newsday reporting on a front office addition that the Knicks are set to make:

The Knicks are finalizing a deal to bolster their front office by adding veteran NBA executive Walt Perrin, according to a league source.

Leon Rose, who was named team president March 2, added Brock Aller earlier this month to serve as chief strategist, specializing in helping with the salary cap. In Perrin, Rose lands a seasoned scouting presence.

Perrin is expected to serve as assistant general manager/college scouting. He worked for the Utah Jazz the last 19 years as vice president of player personnel.

And here’s the Deseret News reporting:

Perrin has long been respected throughout the league for being one of the most well connected figures when it comes to NBA prospects and scouting.

A native of Chicago, Perrin started his NBA career as a scout for the Minnesota Timberwolves in 1993 and spent time with the Detroit Pistons in the scouting and coaching departments before joining the Jazz.

Knicks may be interested in RJ Hampton for 2020 NBA draft

The Knicks drafted RJ Barrett in the lottery last year. Will they take another RJ in the 2020 NBA draft? here’s the New York Post reporting:

According to a source, RJ Hampton, who skipped college to play in New Zealand, is another point-guard-type under consideration by the Knicks if they select between sixth and 10th in the draft currently slated for June 25.

NBA insiders believe the speedy 6-foot-5, 19-year-old combo guard has been under the radar as a top-10 player because the Dallas native played on the other side of the world and saw his season cut short by a hip injury.

Leon Rose strongly pursued Hampton as a client when Rose was a superagent for Creative Artists Agency before accepting the Knicks’ presidency. Now Rose could join forces with him in a different manner in pairing Hampton with shooting guard RJ Barrett.

The Knicks have nine players on guaranteed contracts signed through the 2020-21 season, but only one guaranteed contract for 2021-22.