Knicks: Why retaining Scott Perry makes sense, for now

NY Knicks (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
NY Knicks (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) /
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Scott Perry
Scott Perry of the New York Knicks (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images). /

The Knicks surprised many fans by exercising Scott Perry’s option to keep him as general manager of the team through 2020-21.

It almost feels as if the Knicks are conducting a clinical trial. I shouldn’t be joking about such a thing as the world’s smartest scientists are racing to find a vaccine for the coronavirus. But in much less important basketball terms, the Knicks are embarking on a study to learn the impact of Scott Perry on their everlasting franchise ills.

What happens when you put Scott Perry with Steve Mills? What happens when you take away Steve Mills, but keep Scott Perry? What will happen when you eliminate both Mills and Perry?

We will have to wait to learn the answer to that last question, as the Knicks announced earlier this week that they will exercise Scott Perry’s option to keep him as general manager of the team through the 2020-21 season.

At this point in time, it’s difficult to say how much Perry’s short tenure at the Garden has hurt the franchise, as much as acted as a placebo for a team desperate for some healing juice.

Just like with Mills, when he acted as GM under team president Phil Jackson, it’s impossible, from afar, to separate which decisions where the result of Mr. Mills’ thinking, alone, versus which decisions were clouded by Perry’s judgment, versus which decisions were mostly dictated on Perry’s terms.

All of that said, as long as Scott Perry carries the title of general manager, he must live with the record of transactions under his name. But we will leave the nitty gritty breakdown of roster moves under Perry for a separate post, instead focusing on the high-level reasons why keeping him in his current job makes sense right now.