June 29, 2017, 10:44 am
ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne is reporting that the Knicks will focus more on free agency than a potential Phil Jackson replacement in the coming weeks, and that popular candidate Masai Ujiri is unlikely to leave Toronto for the job.
This follows up reports from yesterday about the Knicks feeling confident that Ujiri would leave Toronto. Ujiri signed a five-year deal with the Raptors last season to serve as team President, so the Knicks would have to get permission from Toronto before they could even interview him for a lateral move. While he’s one of the game’s best executives, it’s unlikely that New York would be willing to pay the steep price (i.e. bushel of draft picks) that will surely be demanded. While former exec Isaiah Thomas has been floated as a dark horse candidate, Shelburne also mentions ex-Cavs GM David Griffin and Thunder GM Sam Presti as potential targets. After the sudden and merciful departure of Phil Jackson, the Knicks are heading into free agency without a clear leader at the helm after making a top-10 selection under the guidance of the previous regime. It’s never boring in New York.