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ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 01: Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints drops back to pass during the first half against the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome on January 1, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Knicks Focused On Replacing Carmelo Anthony After David Griffin Pulls Name From GM Running

David Griffin on Sunday withdrew his name from consideration for the New York Knicks’s president/general manager position, and the team is now focused on other matters — namely, trading Carmelo Anthony and rebuilding the rest of their roster.

Knicks David Griffin GM Position


According to the New York Daily News, the former Cleveland Cavaliers GM declined to remain in the running for the Knicks job because he wanted to bring in some of his own front-office staff, something New York’s top executives took issue with.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski — who formerly wrote NBA articles for Yahoo’s The Vertical — reported that Knicks GM Steve Mills still wishes to hold authority over the team’s future basketball decisions, regardless of who is hired. Wojnarowski added that Knicks owner James Dolan won’t permit any executives from outside to join the team if they plan to fire or reassign any current front office employees and bring in their own staff. These were the two primary points the Mills and the Knicks discussed with Griffin when they met on Friday night.

The Daily News also cited an anonymous source to claim that had Griffin joined the Knicks, he would have likely fired assistant GM Allan Houston as one of his first moves. Houston has been with the Knicks in some capacity (as a player or executive) for most of the last 20 years.

According to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne, Mills will lead the Knicks through at least the 2017 free-agency period. Mills could even become the team’s full-time president of basketball operations for the 2017-2018 season and promote a GM from within the organization.

The Knicks evidently became interested in Griffin because of his success in Cleveland (three consecutive NBA Finals, one championship) since he took over as GM in February 2014 after 3.5 years as the Cavaliers’ vice president of basketball operations. New York also liked Griffin because they knew they wouldn’t need to relinquish a first-round pick or anyone else in exchange for him.

Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujuri was also in the running for the Knicks post, although ESPN reported that an agreement with him fell through due to compensation concerns. All other candidates for the role, including Oklahoma City GM Sam Presti, may also be tough to bring in for similar reasons.

The Knicks will now concentrate on rebuilding their roster. Aside from draft picks, the team has made only one major signing since former president Phil Jackson mutually parted ways with the team on June 28 after three seasons in charge: Atlanta Hawks guard Tim Hardaway, Jr. inked a four-year, $71 million deal with the Knicks in free agency last week. This move surprised nearly everyone in the basketball world.

Mills and his team will also focus on trading Anthony, the 2003 first-round pick who has been with the Knicks since 2011, and on finding a veteran point guard should they choose to also exchange Latvian youngster Kristaps Porzingis, who is rumored to soon be sent to the Boston Celtics in free agency.

The Knicks are hoping to sign a point guard on a short-term deal, per ESPN. Among the targets is free agent Rajon Rondo.  The team will also benefit from rookie guard Frank Ntilikina, who will be 19 later this month. The Knicks signed the Belgian-born Ntilikina as the eighth overall pick in the 2017 draft.

ATLANTA, GA – JANUARY 01: Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints drops back to pass during the first half against the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome on January 1, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

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Written by Pablo Mena