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Reports: Knicks to hire Devin Booker’s agent, Leon Rose, as top executive

A general view of the basketball court before fans are admitted to the arena prior to the game between the New York Knicks and the Indiana Pacers at Madison Square Garden on November 20, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

The New York Knicks plan to hire long-time NBA agent Leon Rose as their president of basketball operations, reported ESPN and The Athletic.

That news is relevant in Phoenix, as Suns guard Devin Booker is Rose’s client. The CAA player agent also represents Minnesota Timberwolves big man Karl-Anthony Towns, Oklahoma City Thunder guard Chris Paul, Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid and many others.

According to SNYtv’s Ian Begley, Rose and the Knicks are also considering bringing on William Wesley, better known as “World Wide Wes,” a monumental figure in basketball from the high school ranks to the pros. And Wesley has strong connections to Kentucky head coach John Calipari, who coached Booker and Towns in their single season of college hoops.

All of that is to say there are connections being made regarding New York’s potential interests in dragging the franchise out of the doldrums of bad basketball.

New York moved on hiring Rose Thursday morning, as the NBA trade deadline loomed at 1 p.m. It comes after the Knicks, who are 15-36, fired president Steve Mills earlier in the week.

Such a power structure for owner James Dolan resembles that of former agents Bob Myers (Warriors) and Rob Pelinka (Lakers) taking on top executive duties for their franchises in recent years. It shares those parallels with the Suns, who in 2010 hired former agent Lon Babby as president of basketball operations and Lance Blanks as general manager.

Of course, the Knicks news might strike fear in smaller-market fanbases such as the ones in Phoenix or Minnesota, where consecutive losing seasons could lead to frustrations for their star players.

In Phoenix, it’s a good time to remember that Booker has not showed any inclination that he wants to leave the Suns to join forces with Towns or otherwise.

It’s also important to remember that Booker is in the first year of a five-year max contract that will pay out $158 million. That deal was negotiated by Rose in the summer of 2018.

The thing to watch moving forward — something that could potentially lead to more guessing games — is whether Booker looks within CAA to replace Rose or elsewhere.


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