April 2, 2020 | 3:06pm | Updated April 2, 2020 | 4:44pm
Nobody knows the steps Knicks president Leon Rose would have taken had the NBA season — and normal life — not been suspended by the coronavirus on March 11.
For now, Rose is proceeding as status quo with an inherited front office in following an unofficial NBA hiring/firing stoppage with the world stopped cold.
According to sources, Rose is actively holding scouting meetings with his staff via conference call/video regarding the draft.
“I don’t see any teams hiring or firing during this,” one NBA source said. “That’s the sense.”
It’s a good bet Knicks GM Scott Perry will be in place for the NBA Draft 2020 whenever it is held. The current date is June 25. What happens after the Knicks’ draft is unclear.
Because of the self-isolation rules, Rose will look to rely on his current personnel men who spent the season scouting college games.
In this key Knicks draft, Rose and scouts were robbed of seeing conference tournaments and the NCAA Tournament. It is also unlikely they will have the luxury of the normal late May NBA Draft Combine or college pro days — both of which feature formal face-to-face interviews.
The groundwork done during the NCAA regular season is now paramount, as is poring over game film. During the season, Perry staged a weekly session with scouts to go over college video.
“With the workouts and games done, Leon has to lean on people who spent the entire year scouting,” said one NBA source who has spoken to Knicks brass. “As of now, everything is status quo.”
Perry’s main two personnel chiefs are assistant GM Gerald Madkins, who is the quasi director of college scouting, and Harold Ellis, director of player personnel.
The Knicks should have three picks in the top 38 – their lottery selection, the Clippers’ first-rounder and Charlotte’s second-rounder.
Rose is expected to choose a new GM at some point, but has known Perry for years. In 2017, then-Knicks president Phil Jackson was fired days after contributing to the draft. A year later, top scout Clarence Gaines was let go after the draft.
Now that Steve Mills is ousted as president, the future of player-development director/G League chief, Craig Robinson, is up in the air.
Robinson’s Twitter account profile does not contain any Knicks reference and the Chicago native was said to be interested in the recently filled Illinois-Chicago head coaching job.
The former Oregon State coach, who’s the brother of Michelle Obama, left the Bucks to join Mills’ staff in 2017. Robinson still lives in Milwaukee and a return to the mighty Bucks would not be shocking.
NBA scouts have talked about an average draft without franchise players. Hence, it is seen as a need-based draft.
The Knicks are in the market for a scoring point guard. Point guard is the position most loaded in the top 10 projected picks of the lottery.
If the regular season standings hold, the Knicks have a nine percent chance of winning the lottery as the sixth-worst team in the NBA. Their chance of falling back to Nos. 7 or 8 are 50.4 percent. The lottery is slated for May 14 and can only be staged if the regular season is officially cancelled by then.