Knicks “branding manager” Steve Stoute is confident he can recruit stars to the team. Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Knicks “branding manager” Steve Stoute is confident he can recruit stars to the team, according to Marc Berman of the New York Post. Stoute joined New York’s front office in January. Stoute mentioned in a conversation with the Breakfast Club podcast that he, team president Leon Rose and senior vice president William Wesley have strong relationships with some of the NBA’s top stars that will make the Knicks an attractive free agent destination once again.

“With having Leon in, World Wide Wes and myself, the three of us, we’re the best sort of team as it relates to being able to speak with free agents,’’ Stoute said of the Knicks’ new front office team.

Though every club’s cap situation is fairly up in the air following the anticipated revenue loss caused by the coronavirus pandemic shutting down live game play, the Knicks could have one of the lightest payrolls in the NBA next season, with only $82.8M in guaranteed salaries at present. The team will really be able to make serious talent upgrades during the summer ahead of the 2021-22 season, for which the team only has $26.2M on its books.

There’s more out of the Empire State:

  • In a recent press conference, Knicks GM Scott Perry details how new head coach Tom Thibodeau won him over during a series of Zoom interviews, according to a separate Marc Berman New York Post piece. “During this process, it allowed me personally to get to know the man better and really see how our personalities could come together and mesh,” Perry said. “I felt really good about our time talking basketball. He’s got a lot of the same values about the game that I was raised in that came through clear to me throughout the process.’’
  • Despite the Nets being one of the most injury-ravaged squads among the 22 NBA teams in Orlando, forward Garrett Temple notes that the team expects to compete, according to Brian Lewis of the New York Post. “We’re trying to win,” Temple said after the seventh-seeded Nets defeated the East’s top-seeded Bucks today. “We’re not going out here to just mess around or have moral victories.”
  • Nets interim head coach Jacque Vaughn was cautiously optimistic about the health status of injured 40-year-old guard Jamal Crawford, Brian Lewis of the New York Post noted in a separate article. Crawford played just five minutes before apparently suffering a strained left hamstring. “I’m telling you, I love having him around and it was awesome to see him on the floor, and look forward to him being on the floor again,” Vaughn said.

This article first appeared on Hoops Rumors and was syndicated with permission.

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