The Knicks are planning to make a run at Raptors top executive Masai Ujiri, and Marc Stein of The New York Times reports (via his latest newsletter) that there are many around the league who believe the executive can be lured to New York.
Even though the Knicks have been laughable on the court, the prestige of the franchise and of winning it all in the arguably the greatest city in the world carry weight with top executives in the NBA. Entering Madison Square Garden’s latest rehabilitation project and coming out with a championship remains a unique and coveted prize.
Regardless of whom New York lands, the architect will face his share of challenges. It’s not certain if owner James Dolan is finally ready to give his top executive something that resembles “real autonomy,” Stein writes. Even Phil Jackson, who was relieved of his duties before his contract was up, didn’t get nearly enough freedom to make internal moves that could have improved the organization's culture. Stein adds that Dolan has given zero indication that he will sell the team.
In addition to Ujiri, Stein mentions R.C. Buford (Spurs), Bob Myers (Warriors) and Donnie Nelson (Mavericks) as names to keep an eye on when it comes to a potential top executive search in New York.