Today, Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Knicks have promoted Gersson Rosas to Senior VP of Basketball Operations.
Having served as a team consultant last season, Rosas now officially joins the Knicks circle of power. Before joining the Knicks he was President of Basketball Operations with the Minnesota Timberwolves, General Manager of the Dallas Mavericks, and Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations with the Houston Rockets.
ESPN Sources: The Knicks promoted Gersson Rosas to Senior VP of Basketball Operations. Rosas — who had been a team consultant for past year — will be among organization’s elder decision-makers now. He was previously Timberwolves’ president, Mavericks’ GM and a Rockets executive.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) September 25, 2023
Rosas will pick up the slack with former GM Scott Perry gone. In May, New York cut ties with Perry, who joined the team in 2017. Rosas was named Senior Basketball Advisor to the Knicks in February 2022.
Meanwhile on ESPN, Zach Lowe and Brian Windhorst made some unusual comments about the Knicks last week. Unusually positive comments.
Lowe had little enthusiasm for the other contenders in the Eastern Conference. “Philadelphia . . . they’re a mess. Milwaukee? Facing some pressure. Boston? Gotta reinvent themselves around Kristaps Porziņģis, some injury-prone guys. Miami? Still doesn’t have Damian Lillard.”
He asked, “Why can’t we wake up in May and the New York Knicks are in the Conference Finals? […] This is a good deep team, well-coached, they’re going to grind defensively.”
Getting to the postseason is one thing. Success there is another. “The big obstacle for the playoffs […] is Julius Randle’s got to play better,” said Lowe. “He’s 34% from the field […] for the playoffs. He’s been twice, he shot poorly both times. That’s the next level for him and them.”
In the 2022-23 campaign, Randle averaged 25.1 points, ten rebounds, and four assists, and appeared in his second All-Star game. Following a disappointing postseason, Randle had ankle surgery from which he seems to have recovered.
The power forward is getting tough treatment from associate head coach Johnnie Bryant. A sweaty Randle posted a video teasing Bryant, saying, “What this man right here do to me is criminal.”
Julius Randle on Knicks associate head coach Johnnie Bryant: “He need to go to jail for these workouts smh” pic.twitter.com/WcMKVsz0P8— New York Basketball (@NBA_NewYork) September 22, 2023
Randle looks a thinner in the video. Could the southpaw, who turns 29 this season, be preparing for a 27 ppg season?
The Knicks didn’t make many changes this off-season, but they did add Donte DiVincenzo. The addition of the shooting guard, who canned 40% of his threes last season, should give New York a little more floor spacing this time around.
After Lowe spoke so glowingly about the Knicks, Windhorst chimed in to express some reservation about New York’s chances of reaching the Conference Finals. But he still has more confidence in the team than we’re accustomed to. “What you want to be optimistic about is they’re upwardly mobile,” said Windy.
“One of the challenges for the Knicks off the court over the next 12 to 18 months is to control themselves and wait for the player that they want to go all in for. They showed great discipline in not going crazy on the bidding for Donovan Mitchell last year.”
It’s always unsettling when the media are laudatory of the Knicks. But, as Windhorst said, “It is possible for them to be a good team and to trade themselves into a great team.”
They’re jinxing it. Watch their segment here: