Knicks in Danger of Losing Leon Rose’s Top Hire: Report

Leon Rose William Wesley Knicks

Getty New York Knicks president Leon Rose and VP William Wesley look on during a bout with the Chicago Bulls.

The New York Knicks are in danger of losing Brock Aller, the team’s Vice President of Basketball and Strategic Planning, amid the most successful stretch of the franchise over the last two decades.

According to SNY’s Ian Begley, the Charlotte Hornets are courting the Knicks salary cap guru.

The Hornets expressed significant interest in hiring Brock Aller to Jeff Peterson’s new front office, SNY has learned. Aller, the Knicks’ Vice President of Basketball and Strategic Planning, was Leon Rose’s first significant hire after he took over as team president in 2020.

In 2023, Aller was identified as part of the next wave of rising front office executives, according to a Yahoo Sports poll with league personnel.

“Knicks vice president Brock Aller has been mentioned often by NBA figures for his key role as a strategist for New York under president Leon Rose,” Yahoo Sports NBA insider Jake Fischer wrote on July 27, 2023. “Aller joined the Knicks after rising through Cleveland’s front office, and Detroit’s before that.”

Former Cleveland Cavaliers general manger and current New Orleans Pelicans  lead executive David Griffin described Aller as “diabolical genius from a cap standpoint” to The Athletic in 2020, shortly after the Knicks hired him.

Aller facilitated the Josh Hart trade, per Steve Popper of the Newsday, which proved pivotal in the Knicks’ playoff run last season and this year.

Aller’s imprint was also all over the Knicks’ savvy negotiations on team-friendly deals and draft trades which extracted extra picks. With these series of franchise-altering moves and Aller’s key position in Rose’s front office, Begley assumes the Knicks “would do what it had to retain Aller.”

The Hornets have been aggressive under their new ownership led by Gabe Plotkin and former Atlanta Hawks’ minority owner Rick Schnall.

Mitchell Robinson Ruled Out for Game 4

After testing his left ankle in the warmups, the Knicks officially ruled out center Mitchell Robinson for Game 4, per multiple reports.

Robinson exited Game 3 after the first half when his left ankle injury worsened after  Joel Embiid‘s flagrant foul in the first quarter. Robinson also skipped Saturday’s practice.

His absence is a big blow for the Knicks, losing their most physical defender against Embiid, who dropped a playoff career-high 50 points in Game 3 after escaping ejection.

Robinson took the high road and quoted a powerful Bible passage in response to Embiid’s dirty play.

“Romans 12:19 ‘Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for It is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord,” Robinson posted on his Instagram story on April 27. 

Tom Thibodeau Singles Out Free Throw Disparity in Game 3

Thibodeau ripped the officiating in Game 3 not only for Embiid’s dangerous foul on Robinson but also the big disparity in free throws.

The Sixers shot 28 of 33 from the stripes with Embiid alone getting more (19 of 21) than the entite Knicks team, who only made only 13 of 19 free throws.

“I’m not a journalist but if I were a journalist I’d write a couple things,” Thibodeau told reporters following Saturday’s practice. “I think the consistency — look at that play and then look at the Josh Hart play in Chicago. That’s my thing.”

Hart was ejected in Chicago for kicking Bulls player Javonte Green in a 108-100 Knicks loss on April 6.

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