During his first meeting with Knicks scouts after Leon Rose took office in March 2020, he talked about his vision and some goals.
Galen Bronson, then a reserve guard for the Mavericks, was named that day — to the surprise of some Knicks talent evaluators, The Post has learned.
More than two years later, Rose has a higher goal As an off-season marquee maneuver.
In exactly two weeks, the Knicks opened training camp with a media day and held his first practice the morning after the start of the 50th anniversary season for the last title.
It would be Bronson or a statue.
The naysayers notwithstanding, one Western Conference staff manager believes the Knicks have made themselves proud of this off-season to improve on the 37-45 defeat.
The Knicks have filled their desperate need for a keeper, adding an offensive/solid position off the bench in Isaiah Hartenstein and Wisely passed over Donovan Mitchellunwilling to be “fallen over the coals” by Danny Aing of Utah.
The Knicks’ personnel director said the Knicks have a strong, deep and youthful bench, led by strong forward Obi Tobin and veteran goalkeeper Derek Rose, who is no longer so reliant on him.
“Not giving up the house in favor of Donovan Mitchell gave them a lot of flexibility for the future,” said the personnel manager. “I wouldn’t give them 10 for their off-season but I think they can now do future moves and put them together [draft] Assets while adding an influencer in a location they didn’t have. And now Derek doesn’t have to play the starting minutes or even 70 games anymore. He’s the best in a limited role. ”
Bronson’s $104 million contract – at the discretion of the personnel director – has not been maximized enough. Yes, the Knicks sacrificed his lottery pick, the eleventh pick, to make space for cover but…
“It is difficult to get players with this ability, especially at that age (26),” he said. “You get him entering his life clan. What they pay him is not an overpayment. Beauty signs him as a free agent. They don’t have to make three first-round picks or multiple assets.
“It’s one of the best moves the Knicks have made in years,” said the man in charge.
To boot, Bronson’s fit needs to be smooth. His father, Rick, is a member of Tom Thibodeau’s coaching staff, and Rose was his former agent – and Rick.
It will help hold him accountable,” the executive said. “Buying will be seamless. And baby fitting is where New York is not an issue.
The key is whether Brunson turns RJ Barrett and Julius Randle into the more efficient scorers. Before Bronson, they were without playmakers.
“Randell will need to adapt,” said the man in charge. “Randell likes to tackle the top and ease, but he can be a secondary player. He’s not excessive. I don’t think it’s going to be difficult.
“Galen is a team man. He is about the right things. He is not just a goalkeeper who scores. He is a better playmaker than Derek.”
Rose, Emmanuel Quikley, Quentin Grimes make for a dynamic, intriguing mix of reserve guards. Quickley was a first-round pick for 2020, and Grimes was first in 2021.
Rose, if he’s healthy, knows Thibodeau’s system better than any player. With Tobin showing flashes of outbursts late in the season and new location Hartenstein a two-way support center, they are as strong a support group as they are in the East.
The talent evaluator said Toppin could come off the bench some nights and score 20 points.
“The key with Obi will always be to understand defensive concepts,” said the personnel director. “The ability to be trusted by Tebes. It will increase his ability to improve on the field and to be a man that Tebes trusts from the time he plays. They need him to do that because they need this offense.”
Last season, Mitchell Robinson’s center support was supposed to be Nerlence Noel, but he made his way to 25 games. Gibson’s crown class and then the then-rookie Jericho Sims were below par. It has been eaten.
“[Hartenstein] It can go up to 3 open but that’s not his strength”, said the Personnel Manager. “But he can shoot. Anyone better than Noel and [Robinson]. Its strength lies in mid-range shooting where they can do a pick-and-pop rather than rolling one-dimensionally to the edge. He’s fine in a number of areas — recoil, edge protection — but he’s just a more offensively oriented center than he has been and will become available. Noel is never available. ”
What does all this mean? The Chief Scout has – on paper – eight of the most talented teams in Boston, Miami, Philly, Milwaukee, Brooklyn, Cleveland, Toronto and Atlanta.
But the Knicks could leap more than a ninth if Randle looks more like the player he was two seasons ago than he has been throughout his career.
“Last year the East was its best since the ’90s and this year it took another step,” said the employee. “They are a playing team – which is better than it was a year ago.”