The New York Knicks have been the NBA’s biggest disappointment since 2001. Knicks’ owner James Dolan has been labeled an incompetent owner for a while now, but he may a plan to change that narrative, for now.
Dolan is planning an attempt to lure Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri to New York, according to The Athletic’s Frank Isola. Dolan is unfazed by the amount of money it would take to land Ujiri, per Isola’s sources.
The Knicks are a mess…again. Could Masai Ujiri solve their problems? The Knicks will make another run at him this offseason. https://t.co/YphJsdJDhl
— Frank Isola (@TheFrankIsola) November 11, 2019
Dolan has spent big – just often on the wrong people. Phil Jackson, who had no executive experience, is the prime example.
Ujiri has proven he can assemble a championship team. He can manage an organization, completely. He’s worth a huge offer.
The Knicks, meanwhile, have not qualified for the post-season in six seasons and own a league-worst 2-8 record this year. New York notably struck out in free agency over the summer, failing to land any of the marquee names on the market.
Would Ujiri leave the Raptors? The Wizards reportedly pursued him last summer and came up empty. Dolan’s deep pockets and New York prestige could give Ujiri things to consider.
In the meantime, the Knicks must manage their current mess. That might mean ousting Fizdale. The coach has made a negligible clear positive impact. It’d be hard for any coach to do much with this roster, but Fizdale also hasn’t given much reason to save his job.
If New York fires Fizdale, though, that could be just the start of a wider shakeup.
By bringing in Ujiri, Isola reports the Knicks would hope to put themselves in play for Giannis Antetokounmpo when his contract expires after the 2020-21 season. Ujiri has long-standing ties to the Antetokounmpo family, helping them emigrate from Nigeria to Greece.
Knicks’ fans have heard the “we are getting marquee free agents” speech before. If or when Dolan fires Mills, all eyes will be on what Ujiri will say or do next.