Knicks: Kyle O’Quinn thinks Leon Rose will do ‘great things’ in NY

Kyle O’Quinn offers his thoughts on the New York Knicks.


Shortly after Leon Rose was named president of the New York Knicks, former Knick Kyle O’Quinn told him he would do “great things” in his new role.

The veteran forward offered his words of encouragement to Rose when he saw him in Philadelphia earlier this year.

“I said it when he first got the job; I seen him in Philly and I said, ‘You’ll do great things,’” O’Quinn said while appearing on SNY’s The Putback with Ian Begley this week. “And I know he will because of his personality, his demeanor and how he is charismatically with his players…. I think that will go through the organization pretty well and he has the personality to get through to guys.”

Rose was hired in February, shortly before the pandemic shuttered arenas across the country. The former CAA big wig has used the time to fill out his front office staff and coaching ranks. Scott Perry is one of the few incumbents who was retained from previous president Steve Mills’ regime.

Despite his affinity for Rose, O’Quinn still has questions about whether the Knicks can become an attractive destination for free agents. While acknowledging the perpetual draw of New York City, he thinks the Knicks need to offer star players a “blueprint” for how they can succeed with the organization.

“I think New York will always be in the discussion when you have a free agent target simply because New York is New York,” O’Quinn said. “But I think until it’s a situation where (you say) ‘OK, I can blueprint off this. I know I can play for that coach, and this, that and the third. I don’t think that New York will get the respect it deserves in free agency from these big players until those kinds of things happen.”

Perhaps appointing Rose as team president is the first step in the right direction for the Knicks. While it remains to be seen whether he can build a competitive roster, he has received mostly praise for the hires of Tom Thibodeau and top assistants Kenny Payne and Johnnie Bryant.

New York also added cap specialist Brock Aller from Cleveland and scouting guru Walt Perrin from Utah, among others.

Rose’s first offseason in New York has become an unusually long one, as the league completes the 2019-20 playoffs in Orlando. A recent report suggests the NBA Draft will be pushed back to November 18. There is no clear idea as to when next season will begin. The Knicks have not played a meaningful game since mid-March.

Next: Pros, Cons of trading for Chris Paul

O’Quinn played three seasons in New York before signing in Indiana in 2018. He played this past season with the Philadelphia 76ers. The 30-year-old will be an unrestricted free agent this offseason.

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