Steve Mills Rumors
Another name to file away here: The former Cleveland coach David Blatt has a longstanding relationship with the Knicks’ president Steve Mills dating to their days as Princeton teammates. You wonder if that’ll finally earn Blatt his first meaningful look from an N.B.A. franchise since the Cavaliers fired him in January 2016 while sporting a record of 30-11.
While Hornacek continues to trot out young players in the fourth quarter, he also gave a hint he would love to know soon about whether he’s coming back next season. Hornacek has one year left on his contract, and team president Steve Mills and GM Scott Perry may look to bring in their own guy.
“At the end of the season, I’m sure we’ll sit down with these guys [management] and figure out what we’re doing,” Hornacek said. “Obviously as a coach you’d like to know that. But our job right now is take the guys that we have on this team, try to get them better, make them work and try to do the best we can.”
With his team vying for a playoff spot despite trading off Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, Doc Rivers has done one of his best coaching jobs and still has strong supporters among the top people in the Clippers’ front office. If he stays on as coach, that could ruin the Knicks’ plans. There is a growing sentiment within New York’s hierarchy to hire Rivers, a former Knicks player, to replace Jeff Hornacek. Sources say Hornacek’s days in New York could be over once the season ends. It hasn’t been all of his fault, but he was brought to the Garden by former team president Phil Jackson and not the current regime headed by Steve Mills.
Jeff Hornacek’s contract is up after the 2018-19 season, and Perry has said that he and Mills will evaluate Hornacek — and all other aspects of the organization — after the season. Hornacek was hired by former Knicks president Phil Jackson, so it certainly wouldn’t be a surprise if Hornacek is let go by the club’s new management after this season. […] Some players have privately grumbled about Hornacek’s rotations, according to sources familiar with the matter, but Hornacek was given the freedom to run his own offense and was handed an imbalanced roster and tasked with trying to fight for a playoff spot while developing young players.
Luka Doncic is the perfect versatile wing Knicks president Steve Mills craves. The 18-year-old is averaging 15 points in 23 minutes. “I played with him — he’s really a talented guy,’’ Willy Hernangomez said after a rare 18-minute outing in Golden State on Tuesday. “I think people in The States don’t understand how difficult it is to play in European League when you’re 19 years old and playing against 30-year-olds and be the best. Most of the players in college won’t do as well as he is doing in Europe. For him, he’s a top three in the draft this year. He’s my friend. I have a great relationship with him.” “He’s a 2, 3, he can play point guard and he’s really smart, talented,’’ Hernangomez said. “He can shoot. He will really improve because he’s a kid. If you know Petrovic, he was amazing. He’s kind of a player like him. All the European guys in the NBA are excited for him to play here.’’
As speculation about Jeff Hornacek’s job security ramps up, the coach said that he shouldn’t be judged on the team’s recent skid because these growing pains were part of a plan dictated by the front office. Jeff Hornacek also believes he has the backing of GM Scott Perry and president Steve Mills, despite being inherited by them as Phil Jackson’s hire. “We were talking about rebuilding and we got off to a good start because we had a lot of home games,” Hornacek said. “Scott and Steve, everybody’s still on the same page of trying to get our young guys opportunities. We’re still trying to win games. We still want to establish an identity where defensively we’re going to get after it all the time and we’re building toward that. It’s great to have their support.”