Leon Rose Rumors

Knicks president Leon Rose and senior vice president William Wesley were hired primarily as a conduit to luring stars, but Stoute believes he can form a Big 3. “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 over the weekend on the “Breakfast Club” podcast. “Our relationship with talent to bring them to New York. They haven’t had this level of talent in the last 10 years that can go out and pitch free agents and convince them why New York is great.’’
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On a Zoom call, Rose faced questions for the first time from the media as he introduced Thibodeau as their head coach. “We have not set a timeline. We are taking it one day at a time. We felt Tom was that coach who can take us with development to becoming a perennial winner. That happens one step at a time,” Rose said. “At the moment we don’t know what the roster will be moving forward. We have decisions we have to make. The important thing is to instill the culture, focus on the development and take it from there.”
Storyline: Knicks Front Office
Harkless, the former St. John’s star, is a defender and Thibodeau is a defensive coach. “It was good conversations about different things,’’ Harkless told The Post about his exit interview with new team president Leon Rose. “I don’t know what free agency will bring yet until October. They got a good coach,” Harkless told The Post. “Thibs is a great coach and I have a lot of respect for him. But I don’t know what’s going to happen.’’
Knicks president Leon Rose and agent Spencer Breecker of CAA Sports were working Saturday to complete contractual terms and a signed agreement is expected in the near future, sources said. Rose and executive VP William Wesley are completing a two-month search process with the candidate, Thibodeau, long expected to emerge with the job. Together, they’ll be tasked with the daunting challenge of restoring a forlorn franchise to NBA relevance.
Storyline: Knicks Coaching Search
It’s unclear if this is a negotiating ploy. David Fizdale landed a four-year, fully guaranteed $22 million deal that owner James Dolan is still on the hook for. Dolan has been hit hard by the pandemic because of all the empty venues he owns beyond the Garden. Reports Thursday stated the job had not been formally offered to any candidate. A source said Friday a decision won’t be made until next week.
The Post reported earlier this week Thibodeau, while close to Leon Rose, is not as tight with new senior vice president William Wesley as in years past. Wesley may have as much, if not more influence than Rose. “Over recent years they really haven’t had much connection,” one NBA source said. Meanwhile, it’s known that Thibodeau, the former Bulls and Timberwolves coach, is intrigued by the Rockets job if it opens after Houston is eliminated, and he could have been given an assurance there. Thibodeau is still getting paid by Minnesota next season.

Knicks to name head coach before the end of the month?

The Knicks’ coaching search is nearing its end, but there’s still more work to be done. New team president Leon Rose said in his only interview since taking over that he hoped to have a coach in place by mid-to-late July. He remains on target, scheduling more talks for the coming week with a plan to name a coach before the end of the month, according to a source.
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The Knicks still plan to wrap up their coaching search by the end of the month. As they get closer to the finish line, several people briefed on the Knicks’ thinking expect them to hire at least one of the current head-coaching candidates as an assistant on the next head coach’s staff. Some old-school coaches bristle at the idea of a team hiring assistant coaches for their staff. But the practice has become more common recently as franchises collaborate with coaches on the coaching staffs.
The Knicks made sweeping changes to their front office this year, in hopes of reversing a two-decade trend of ineptitude. They hired power agent Leon Rose from Creative Artists Agency to become team president. Rose in turn hired William “Worldwide Wes” Wesley, a noted power broker and player confidante, as a top assistant, along with respected front-office veterans Walt Perrin, Brock Aller and Frank Zanin. But their task likely just got tougher, especially when it comes to wooing marquee players. “I think it’s a big black eye on the Knicks as an organization,” said an agent whose firm represents multiple stars, referring to the club’s silence. The agent, who is Black, added, “It will continue to be something that players look down upon, and it further explains why guys like Kevin Durant [passed on the Knicks]. You got all the resources and all the richness of the NBA, and still people don’t want to associate themselves with it.”
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Leon Rose high on Frakn Ntilikina?

In your previous mailbag you said Damyean Dotson is as good as gone because he doesn’t have an attachment to [Leon] Rose or [GM Scott] Perry. Is the same said for Frank Ntilikina? — Akiva Au contraire. Rose was Ntilikina’s first agent. While they parted ways after his second season amid bruised feelings, the sense is Rose wants to turn the Frenchman into a valuable piece. Rose said of Ntilikina on MSG Network that, “Given the right circumstances, I think [he] can really prosper.’’ Rose was likely referring to a steady role and structured offense. If Tom Thibodeau is hired as coach, he tends to favor defensive-first ballplayers such as the 6-foot-4 point guard.
Knicks president Leon Rose saw it firsthand as his agent — a clue to why he got this interview and perhaps will join the coaching staff. Woodson’s departure was only because new president Phil Jackson had to bring in his own staff. “He got the most out of Carmelo and Amar’e [Stoudemire] by holding them accountable,’’ said one individual who has worked alongside Woodson.
Storyline: Knicks Coaching Search
The Knicks are continuing to work through the process of the search for a head coach and have completed second interviews with all candidates. Knicks president Leon Rose described his process on MSG Network last month of conducting informal talks and then formal interviews with the 11 confirmed candidates. The Knicks completed the second round last week, holding talks with the candidates who are not headed into the bubble for the restart of the NBA season.
Storyline: Knicks Coaching Search
“Alex is wise beyond his years and someone I have always respected for both his hard-working mentality and talent evaluating skills,” new Knicks president Leon Rose told The Post in an email. “He will be a solid addition to the versatile and innovative front office that we are assembling.” Kline is on a path to stardom, most agree. People his age are typically still trying to find their calling. He’s thriving at his. He didn’t get lucky. He made his breaks. The question is how high he can go. “The nature of his contact base is very good and he’s not going to go changing,” Clibanoff said. “He’s on his way.”
Woodson, 62, the former Knicks head coach, is among several candidates who’ve met with team brass via video conference. Woodson, like frontrunner Tom Thibodeau, has a connection to team president Leon Rose and top Knicks executive William Wesley because they represented him at CAA as agents. It’s possible that Woodson, who owns the highest winning percentage of a Knicks coach since Jeff Van Gundy, is hired as an assistant if he’s bypassed for the top job.
Storyline: Knicks Coaching Job
Anthony was represented by Creative Artists Agency, and Mills was reputed to have close ties to CAA. (Wesley, according to a source, served as a chief confidant of Anthony’s during his Knicks stint.) Now CAA is officially running the Knicks with the Leon Rose-Wesley tandem. After Rose agreed to terms in February, The Post quoted a source, stating, “MSG and CAA have been in bed for years. This shouldn’t be surprising.’’

Knicks interested in Devin Booker?

However, since Leon Rose was hired as president, the player to watch out for most is Suns combo guard Devin Booker, according to league sources. If Rose hires Tom Thibodeau, Towns — a former Rose client — no longer makes sense because of their history. Booker and Towns were Rose clients who played at Kentucky, which means Knicks adviser William Wesley is close to each. Rose has done well with Kentucky standouts because of Wesley.
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Booker, 23, made his first All-Star Game in February. Recent rumblings are Booker could get tired of the perennial losing in Phoenix, which is run by a spendthrift owner in Robert Sarver. “I think he’ll do unbelievable,’’ Booker said of Rose. “One of the most genuine guys I know. One of the most honest guys I know. So I’m happy for him in his new position. I think the Knicks are in really good hands.’’ Last week, Rose said he’s prepared to beef up the offensively challenged Knicks through “the draft, trades and free agency.’’
Two former Knicks blasted the new front office, with Rasheed Wallace calling the hirings of Leon Rose and William Wesley “a brain fart” by the organization and Stephon Marbury labeling Wesley, in particular, a “world wide sucker.” Marbury didn’t get into specifics during his social media rant, but Wallace said the executives carry baggage into their new jobs because of their dealings as agents and won’t have the respect of players because they lack a basketball background.
There’s at least one person who hates the addition of William “World Wide Wes” Wesley to the Knicks’ front office. Former Knick Stephon Marbury slammed Wesley on Twitter on Thursday afternoon. “Did you really just now bring world wide sucka to the New York Knicks? And I ain’t talking about a sucka like the sucka we call a sucka,” Marbury said in a video posted to his Twitter account. “Really? You brought this dude here? Why? I’m a real New York Knicks fan. I’ve been a New York Knicks fan since I was a spit. Come on Dolan, man. You gotta be kidding me, man. You brought this dude here? Really? What’s going on, man? There’s gotta be an explanation. Not him! Of all people, you bring this dude here? You bring him to NYC? To New York? He don’t got no credibility here! Nah.”
Storyline: Knicks Front Office
The Knicks’ hiring of “World Wide Wes,” aka William Wesley, was universally praised on Wednesday as a forward-thinking addition by new team president Leon Rose. One former Knick, however, is against it. Stephon Marbury blasted the move, calling Wesley “world wide sucker,” in a video he posted on Instagram and wrote on Twitter that Wesley is a “kiss a–.”
Storyline: Knicks Front Office
Stephon Marbury: “C’mon man, c’mon. At New York Knicks, did you really just bring world wide sucker to the New York Knicks. … Really? You brought this dude here? Why? I’m a real New York Knicks fan. I’ve been a New York Knicks fan since I was a [kid]. … C’mon [Jim] Dolan man. You gotta be kidding me, man. You brought this dude here? Really? What’s going on man. There’s gotta be an explanation. Not him. Out of all people, you bring this dude here? You bring him to NYC? To New York? He ain’t got no credibility here. Nah.”
Marbury, 43, says he remains a Knicks fan, which is why he doesn’t like what he’s seeing. “When are we really going to try to win in NY,” he tweeted at the Knicks official account. “The people of NY deserve real New York people leading the way for New Yorkers. These fake kiss a$$ blow up fast cats ain’t going to cut the check other than going into BOA to deposit the check. We sick and tired!”

Leon Rose not sold on Kevin Knox's game?

Rookie president Leon Rose, who has not spoken to the media since his hiring, is not sold on Knox and desperately wanted to see him in the now-scrapped final 16 games, sources told The Post. “He’s had people question his desire, question his toughness, question his defense, question his shooting,’’ Payne said. “In my opinion, great players, good players in the NBA, it’s not can he shoot, defend, rebound. It’s about if he’s secure and comfortable doing it, getting him more comfortable. Getting him in a more aggressive mindset to do it is more important.’’
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Some league sources have suggested never to count out Calipari when Leon Rose, the new Knicks president, and William Wesley, unofficial team advisor, are involved. Last February, the Kentucky coach raved about Rose but said he wouldn’t be interested in leaving Kentucky to work for him. Calipari signed a 10-year “lifetime’’ contract with Kentucky last June.
Storyline: Knicks Coaching Search
Some league sources have suggested never to count out Calipari when Leon Rose, the new Knicks president, and William Wesley, unofficial team advisor, are involved. Last February, the Kentucky coach raved about Rose but said he wouldn’t be interested in leaving Kentucky to work for him. Calipari signed a 10-year “lifetime’’ contract with Kentucky last June.
Storyline: Knicks Coaching Search