Although the New York Knicks have been one of the worst teams in the NBA in recent years, they finally broke out this past year. Currently, they are in the playoffs and had a record of 41-31. While some of the credit belongs to the players and coaches, general manager Scott Perry‘s role within the team cannot be ignored.
Coming into the season, Perry was disliked by the Knicks fanbase due to several mistakes he made between 2017 and 2019. Most notably, drafting Kevin Knox and not signing Kevin Durant in 2019. In addition, his decision to hire former coach David Fizdale was a head-scratcher. Within the past year and a half, however, he has made up for his mistakes with several smart moves.
Perry Drafts R.J. Barrett in 2019
The Knicks entered the 2019 draft with the third pick. The best player on the board was Duke’s, RJ Barrett. Scott Perry made the call and drafted the Duke guard. At the time, many fans were upset the Knicks did not land the first pick in the lottery. If they had the first pick, they would have picked Barrett’s teammate, Zion Willamson.
After an underwhelming rookie season, Barrett was one of the most improved players in the league this year. He has been a large part of the Knicks path to the playoffs, and Perry deserves credit for this selection. The rising sophomore will play a large part on a Knick team that looks to contend for years.
Listed below are Barrett’s 2020-2021 stats.
Perry Signs Julius Randle in 2019
In a move that was widely disliked until this season, Perry signed former Pelicans forward Julius Randle to a 3-year deal in the 2019 offseason. In Randle’s first season with New York, he was nothing short of a liability. While his stats may have looked decent, his playstyle was terrible. He would constantly spin into double teams and his defense was poor. Coming into the 2020-21 season, many Knick fans criticized Perry for the signing and wanted Randle traded.
However, Randle’s 2020-21 season was nothing short of incredible. His playstyle improved drastically, as he becomes more selfish and he was liked all across the fanbase. He reached career highs in points, rebounds, and assists per game. Additionally, he was named to the All-Star game as a reserve. Randle’s impact on the team has led them to a playoff berth and he is only improving. Scott Perry deserves a ton of credit for this signing.
Perry Hires Tom Thibodeau as Head Coach
Although the Knicks thought they had a long-term coach in David Fizdale, the hire didn’t work out. Therefore, New York searched for coaches that would have a positive impact on the team and hired Tom Thibodeau. Prior to coaching New York, he was a head coach for the Bulls and Timberwolves.
In his first year with the team, he has established a winning culture. While the talent on the Knicks roster is similar to last year’s, Thibodeau is able to get the most out of his players. Many players on the roster have had the best year of their NBA career. Though many fans were suspect of the hire at first, it is safe to say Scott Perry found the right coach for this team.