CHICAGO — Call it a “sneaky hire.”
Moving to replace college scouts Walker Russell and Kristian Petesic, the Knicks added two talent evaluators without making an announcement.
The Post reported Thursday that former Heat rival and 2022 Hall of Famer Tim Hardaway was one of the rookies.
According to an NBA source, Knicks president Leon Rose’s other hire was an out-of-the-box addition to Vince Baldwin – a longtime Nike talent scout who has extensive contacts over his years in the game. high school and college ranks.
Baldwin is also close to Knicks executive William Wesley, who unofficially worked for Rose at the Creative Artists Agency, helping secure shoe deals for Rose’s clients. While in the shadows, Wesley reportedly aligned with Nike but was not on the payroll.
Both Baldwin and Hardaway were at this week’s Chicago Draft Combine – Baldwin proudly wore a black shirt with a Knicks logo. Hardaway, who waged war on the Knicks in the 1990s, has yet to be seen in Knicks gear.
Hardaway was once heard telling people at the Delta Club at the Garden after his son Tim Hardaway Jr. was drafted by the Knicks in 2013 that he would never be caught in a Knicks hat.
Ironically, Russell, who had been with the Knicks since 2005, pushed for the Hardaway pick at No. 24. Russell left the Knicks during training camp to join the Mavericks.
Petesic, a favorite of Phil Jackson, was fired and resurfaced at Mike Miller’s agency as scouting director. Representatives of Miller have projected among the first 3 choices Paolo Banchero (Duke).
During Friday’s combined workouts, Rose and Wesley were nowhere to be found at Chicago’s Wintrust Arena. Coach Tom Thibodeau sat with new Knicks consultant Gersson Rosas for four straight hours without leaving his seat, mostly watching late first-round/second-round contenders and draft bubble contenders.
They were then later joined by Knicks general manager Scott Perry. Deputy general managers Walter Perrin and Frank Zanin were also nearby in the stands. Meanwhile, Knicks assistant coach Darren Erman was one of the volunteer coaches during game week.
The Knicks contingent will be at Pro Day on Saturday for Excel to watch Johnny Davis, the Wisconsin two-way shooting guard in the Knicks lineup at No. 11. The son of former Mets general manager Omar Minaya also works for the stable of Jeff Schwartz. Justin, who played at Providence.
A notable absence from the front office was personnel manager Makhtar N’Diaye, who is in Serbia for the Euroleague Final Four to scout the Knicks’ 2021 second-round pick point guard Rokas Jokubaitis, who plays for Barcelona .
Real Madrid beat Barcelona, 86-83, on Thursday. Jokubaitis was held at 10 minutes, scoring four points unassisted in one of his worst outings. Barcelona will play the consolation game on Saturday against Olympiacos. The Post reported last week that the Knicks were leaning heavily towards allowing the Lithuanian southpaw to stay at Barcelona for one more season to polish his game and grow stronger and is not expected to play in the Las Vegas summer league.
Kentucky point guard TyTy Washington said he didn’t meet the Knicks in Chicago but thinks he’ll come practice.
New York Post