Donnie Nelson Rumors
Ian Begley: Louisville’s Donovan Mitchell will not meet with the Knicks on Monday, as has been reported. He is working out for the Dallas Mavericks on Monday in front of Donnie Nelson and his staff and is scheduled to work out for the Knicks on Tuesday and meet with Phil Jackson and his staff, according to sources familiar with the Knicks’ workout schedule. Mitchell has drawn strong interest from the Knicks and his workout could be the last one for the club before it makes its final decisions on the eighth pick. Also under consideration are French guard Frank Ntilikina, North Carolina State’s Dennis Smith Jr. and Kentucky guard Malik Monk, among others. Mitchell, who prefers to work out in a group setting to show teams his defensive skill set, will workout in a group setting along with Villanova’s Josh Hart – a potential second-round pick for NYK – and others, per sources.
“Each guy has his own role,” president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson said. “All the international guys are there, representatives of each continent. We have certain guys who have relationships with people on other teams that are in similar positions — our assistant GM with other assistant GMs, for instance. So if I get really bogged down with something, there are still lines of communication open with other teams.”
Of course, no matter how many people are in the room, ultimate decision-making power rests with the trio of Nelson, coach Rick Carlisle and owner Mark Cuban. But they lean on the rest of the team to get reliable information.
Olivier Mazet: After his great game yesterday @Frank Ntilikina was in Venice this morning to meet Mavericks owner Marc Cuban and Donnie Nelson
Just over the past month, president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson and Ronzone have been to Italy, Serbia, Germany (several times), France (several times), Iceland, Chicago, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and New York. Much of the time in France was spent watching and talking to point guard Frank Ntilikina, a potential choice for the Mavericks with the No. 9 pick in the draft on June 22.
“We got guys everywhere,” Nelson said. “We’re scouting third-graders in Nigeria. There’s millions of kids who play basketball around the world, outside of the U.S. that people question their competition and whether they can play. We keep on investing in our player development so we can take chances on those guys and take them to the next level. At some point, you have to say, OK, I may not be able to develop somebody into a star, but can I develop them into a rotation player or a starter?”