New York Knicks owner James Dolan (pictured) is looking to replace former team president Steve Mills, who was fired this week. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo
Feb. 6 (UPI) -- The New York Knicks are expected to hire Leon Rose, an NBA player agent at Creative Artists Agency, as the team's president of basketball operations.
League sources told ESPN and the New York Times on Thursday that no formal deal is expected to be announced anytime soon, but negotiations will begin shortly after the NBA trade deadline passes.
The Knicks have moved quickly to find a replacement for Steve Mills, who was fired by the franchise this week. In his place, general manager Scott Perry has controlled the team's basketball operations on an interim basis.
Knicks owner James Dolan started to explore the front-office model of hiring a high-ranking basketball executive out of the player-agent ranks, according to ESPN. The concept has gained popularity after the successes of Bob Myers (Golden State Warriors) and Rob Pelinka (Los Angeles Lakers).
Later Thursday afternoon, Dolan issued a statement, saying the hiring process hadn't finished. He also stressed that he won't sell the team.
"We are actively looking for a new president of the New York Knicks and hope to conclude the search as quickly as possible," Dolan said. "I am not selling, but I am determined to find the right leader for the Knicks who will ensure the long-term success of the team, just as we did with the hiring of [New York] Rangers president John Davidson."
Rose has been one of the top pro basketball agents for many years, with clients including Chris Paul, Carmelo Anthony, Devin Booker, Joel Embiid, Karl-Anthony Towns and Kyle Kuzma. He previously represented LeBron James and Allen Iverson.
Mills, 60, served as the Knicks' president since July 2017. Before being promoted to that role, he worked as the team's executive vice president and general manager.
Mills originally joined the Knicks organization in 1999 as executive vice president of franchise operations before leaving in 2009. Since rejoining the Knicks in 2013, the franchise has posted a 178-365 record, the worst in the NBA.