Leon Rose, the former CAA agent to be named Knicks' new president in the coming days, has to hire a GM who is a real basketball fan.
"Leon is known as a nice guy in the league, but he needs a lot of help," said an NBA personnel manager. "He's not a loner."
Acting Knicks President Scott Perry has the bare essentials and a long connection to William Wesley, who is expected to come on board in the front office. Perhaps Perry will be used as Director of College Scouting if he doesn't stay in place.
Here is a list of potential candidates from NBA sources:
GM Chris Wallace: One of the most accomplished veterans on the market. Was GM in Memphis for 12 years before being assigned to a scout last year. While Hasheem Thabeet made it to number 2 on the 2009 NBA draft, Wallace was the chairman of the Grizzlies, which set records in the harsh western world for seven seasons. Memphis is set in a small market where it is difficult to attract free agents. Before joining Memphis, Wallace was GM at Celtics and Director of Player Staff at the Heat in the 1990s.
Bobby Marks: Was a fixed point with the Nets as a capologist, but also knows the personnel evaluation. After separating from the Nets, he becomes a star on ESPN and reports on the salary cap. He also happens to be a CAA customer, although within the agency he prefers to continue his aspiring career in broadcasting. Ironic, Marks compared Knicks to "an expansion team" this week and a “two to three year project” during an ESPN segment.
Malik Rose: The former Knicks / Spurs striker has been a GM assistant in Detroit for the past two seasons. Rose was previously the Hawks manager for basketball operations. He was always considered one of the best players during his career and is also a former broadcaster.
Troy Weaver: Oklahoma City's longtime vice president of basketball operations, interviewed for the Wizards' GM job last year. He learned from one of the best in Sam Presti and the thunder is still rolling, despite the appearance of the reconstruction.
Kenny Smith: The former cerebral NBA point guard from Queens is nervous for a challenge outside of TNT. In all of the games he considered one of TNT's top studio analysts, Smith is considered talented. More importantly, he has built trust in the basketball community.
John Calipari: If he wanted it, it wouldn't be surprising if he got it considering his longstanding relationship with Rose and Wesley. He may have to take a Kentucky cut in his salary, however. Calipari praised Rose on Friday and said he liked being "a resource" but would not be a trainer.
Ryan West: Ryan, the son of the logo, left the Lakers last year to switch to the Clippers Scouting department. How can you be wrong with a vest?
Tayshaun Prince: The former Pistons champion was promoted to VP of Basketball Affairs for Memphis a year ago. Prince was initially hired as a special advisor to the GM. For what it's worth, he knows Perry well from his time in Detroit.
Brandon Williams: A former Sixers basketball vice president who worked under Sam Hinkie and was a deputy GM in Sacramento before being forced out of office last year.
Mark Hughes: Knicks' former top scout worked well in the talented Clippers front office. Very appreciated in the organization of Knicks.