Grading every transaction made by the New York Knicks while Steve Mills was president of basketball operations. Part 1 focuses on his first year of roster moves.
Steve Mills is gone. And you won’t find many basketball fans in New York upset about that. Beyond James Dolan, nobody has represented the Knicks over the past two decades of losing more than Steve Mills. Just look at every press conference picture after a major signing, trade, or hire, and like a twisted version of Forrest Gump, notice how Mills is in almost every single photo.
While Mills has been with Madison Square Garden for much of the past two decades, he was officially named team president on June 28, 2017, after Phil Jackson was fired. Over the past 2.5 years, he has presided over the worst stretch of basketball in Knicks history.
But those are the macro results. What about the individual moves made along the way? In the first of a two-part series, we are going to grade every transaction made under Steve Mills.
Obviously, front office decisions aren’t made in a vacuum, there are several voices who carry influence, and James Dolan has the final say, which is a challenging veto vote to consider. So if you want to spread blame, or credit, for any of the following roster moves, go right ahead. In fact, I’m going to leave the Scott Perry hire aside in my grading, as evaluating his time in New York overlaps with the evaluation of Mills.
The purpose of this article is to grade each roster move made under Steve Mills in terms of the cost to acquire the player versus the benefit they produced on the court, or future value they created in trade.
In the first part, we will focus, in chronological order, on each transaction from July 3, 2017 until July 6, 2018.