The Knicks Are Reportedly Firing President Steve Mills In Hopes Of Getting Masai Ujiri

In just over two days, the NBA trade deadline will arrive, which is a very important date on the NBA calendar and one that you need a cohesive vision in place from your front office.

Naturally, the New York Knicks decided that now, 51 hours before said deadline, is the best time to fire president of basketball operations Steve Mills, as first reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

The Athletic’s Shams Charania confirmed the news, noting that GM Scott Perry had been elevated to taking over basketball operations.

To be clear, this comes as little surprise overall, given that this season has been a disaster in New York and the hoped improvement of this team from last year has not shown in much of any way. Even with back-to-back wins, the Knicks are 15-36 on the season and once again near the basement of the Eastern Conference. Firing coach David Fizdale didn’t turn things around, and reports long indicated that they needed a significant shift to save the jobs of those in the front office.

However, there was ample time and reason to do this before trade deadline week, and while I guess it’s better than letting Mills stick around through the deadline and then firing him, it’s just about the most Knicks way to fire your lead decision maker possible. The Knicks have been rumored to be in many discussions as the deadline approaches, and how those conversations change with Perry now in charge will be interesting.

As for who will take over as Knicks president in the long term, well, you’ll be shocked to know they still are trying to get Masai Ujiri to leave Toronto.

Maybe they can throw so much money at Ujiri to make this happen, but the Raptors surely will demand a lot in return for him since his contract has another year on it. Ujiri remains James Dolan’s white whale, and, well, that pursuit usually ends poorly. Marc Stein of The New York Times offered a perfect analogy for the Knicks newfound optimism of actually getting the Raptors president to leave Toronto this time.

Woj would follow up the initial report by noting that the Knicks don’t want to give up draft compensation for Ujiri — which would be their only chance of getting him — and the process may have already moved on from the dream of luring the Raptors president to New York.