Outgoing Knicks GM Blamed for Trade That Did Not Work: Report

Scott Perry, New York Knicks

Getty Former New York Knicks general manager Scott Perry.

Outgoing New York Knicks general manager Scott Perry is blamed for the Cam Reddish trade that did not pan out, according to Newsday’s Steve Popper.

It was the beginning of his end in New York, Popper wrote.

When Leon Rose arrived as team president, bringing with him his own advisers, he kept Perry in place, signing him to a contract extension in July 2021, and he remained an active voice as the team made the playoffs in two of the last three seasons. But his voice diminished with time as William Wesley, along with Gersson Rosas, who joined as a senior basketball consultant, took a more prominent role in shaping the roster.

While the Knicks have been successful in recent years with this combined leadership in the front office, there is the occasional finger-pointing, and when the team traded for Cam Reddish and then discarded him in a deal a year later, blame was put on Perry for advocating for the deal — which in the end did bring Josh Hart to New York.

Shortly after the January 2022 deal, which sent Kevin Knox and a first-round pick to the Atlanta Hawks for Reddish, was consummated, The Athletic reported that New York coach Tom Thibodeau was not a fan of the trade. And it showed in Reddish’s lack of playing time. He had 37 DNP-CDs (did not play-coach decision) across parts of two seasons.

For taking a flier on the former 10th overall pick, the Knicks gave up Knox (another draft lottery bust) and a heavily protected future first-round selection, which the Atlanta Hawks used as part of the three-first-round pick package that landed them All-Star guard Dejounte Murray from the San Antonio Spurs.

The Knicks ultimately traded Reddish to the Portland Trail Blazers in February 2023 as part of the package that netted them Josh Hart, who played a key role in their second-round playoff run. However, Reddish was just a throw-in to the deal, as the centerpiece was the Knicks’ first-round pick (23rd) in this year’s draft, according to Trail Blazers beat reporter Sean Highkin.

Cam Reddish’s Market

Reddish, who will be 24 when the 2023-24 season starts, enters the offseason as a restricted free agent with no clear future. Despite flourishing in his first few games with the Trail Blazers, his role diminished as the team got healthier.

A return to Portland isn’t guaranteed, Highkin said on the May 31 episode of the “Hoopshype” podcast with host Michael Scotto:

“Reddish is interesting. I could see that going either way. They like what they saw out of him. … I think that one will come down to the number,” Highkin said. “I can’t imagine there will be much of a market for him in restricted free agency because the Knicks didn’t really find a lot at the deadline when they tried to move him, and he was thrown in with the Josh Hart trade for that first-round pick, which was really Portland’s motivation.

“I look at the deal that Nassir Little signed when he did his extension of four years, $28 million, which is a pretty below-market deal for guy’s signing a rookie extension. If they can get Reddish back for something like that or a deal with a bunch of partial guarantees, I think that’s something they’d be open to. I don’t think they’d commit much money to him.”

The Knicks were fortunate to undo Perry’s mistake, turning it into a key rotation player who was a perfect fit for Thibodeau’s style of play.

Nuggets Guard High on Knicks Free Agent Board

Denver Nuggets backup guard Bruce Brown is another player in the Hart mold who is high on the Knicks’ list of free agent targets this summer, according to one Eastern Conference general manager.

“Denver probably is not letting Bruce Brown go,” the unidentified GM told Heavy Sports’ Sean Deveney. “But that would be the ideal piece for the Knicks. [Tom Thibodeau] would love him.”

Brown has outperformed his $6.4 million salary this season, averaging a career-high 11.5 points on a 48/36/76 shooting split while playing as Jamal Murray’s primary backup. The 26-year-old two-way guard also produced 4.1 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.1 steals as the Nuggets’ Sixth Man. He raised his level of play in the playoffs, scoring 11 or more points in 11 of Denver’s 15 playoff games so far while soaking in important minutes during crunch time.

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