New York Knicks general manager Scott Perry might be headed back out west.
Only months after Knicks president Leon Rose exercised the final year of the incumbent general manager’s contract to keep him in New York through next season, Scott Perry is receiving a “swell of support” to return to the Sacramento Kings as GM, per The Athletic.
Perry worked for the Kings for a three-month window before being hired by the Knicks in 2017. During that short timeframe, he made an impression on the league for his role in the team’s drafting, trading, and free agent efforts.
Many credit Perry’s scouting eye and connections for helping Sacramento to select De’Aaron Fox with the fifth overall pick, for swinging a draft day trade that netted an extra first round selection, and for convincing several veteran free agents to sign in Sacramento, a city that has never been known for its ability to attract tourists, let alone NBA stars.
The Sacramento general manager position opened up when Vlade Divac unexpectedly stepped down last week.
Joe Dumars, who hired Perry as an executive in Detroit, is currently handling the day-to-day management duties. Dumars’ relationship with Perry could help facilitate a reunion. The two worked together with the Pistons when they were perennial contenders in the Eastern Conference and NBA champions in 2004.
According to the report in The Athletic, Perry would be interested in returning to the Kings as long as he has final say in basketball decisions. Divac decided to quit when it became apparent that Dumars would have a significant influence in roster decisions. Perhaps the prior relationship between Dumars and Perry will lead to an acceptable collaboration, regardless of whether the Kings are making it seem like the new GM will report directly to ownership.
While it was reported earlier this week that Perry and the Kings have been in discussions since Sacramento’s front office turnover, The Athletic reports the Kings have not yet requested permission from the Knicks to speak with Perry. Believe it or not, informal conversations take place through back channels in the NBA.
The Knicks gave up a second round pick and $1 million in compensation to pry Perry away from Sacramento in 2017. With one year remaining on his contract in New York, if Perry were to turn back west, the Knicks will receive some form of compensation, themselves.
The New York Post recently speculated that if Perry were to depart the Knicks, recent hire and head of college scouting Walt Perrin would likely replace him. Perry is currently in charge of the Knicks’ drafting efforts, so it would make sense to have a talent evaluator like Perrin take his place in the short-term. It’s unclear whether Rose views Perrin as a long-term solution in the GM role, given Perry might leave.