Following six seasons of missing the playoffs, with a seventh on the way, the New York Knicks fired president Steve Mills on Tuesday.
Sources tell ESPN's Ramona Shelburne and Wojnarowski that Dolan is already considering a front-office model that is working with the Golden State Warriors (Bob Myers) and the Los Angeles Lakers (Rob Pelinka): hiring a top basketball executive out of the player agent ranks.
Nonetheless, rumors Ujiri eventually taking his talents to NY has been floating around even prior to the start of the season - and even after the Raptors won their title last season.
Mills, 60, has been the Knicks' president since July 2017 and previously worked as their executive vice president since 2013.
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The Knicks are 15-36 this season, Mills' third in charge after replacing Phil Jackson.
"It has been a great honor to represent the Knicks", Mills said in the statement. The report also noted several people had advised Ujiri against leaving the Raptors for the Knicks. He hired Perry and Fizdale, touting a new culture and a plan to rebuild the franchise through youth instead of seeking quick fixes. The team's failure to sign a superstar was compounded by last season's trade of Kristaps Porzingis to the Dallas Mavericks, which netted the Knicks very little in return for a player who had been the franchise cornerstone. "Sell the team!" with Dolan sitting in his courtside seat.
Mills and Perry came under fire last summer for failing to bring high-profile free agents to NY despite trading Porzingis to the Dallas Mavericks months earlier to open a second max contract slot. Ujiri is under contract in Toronto through 2020-21.
The Knicks' statement added: "It is anticipated that Steve Mills will be nominated to the board of the standalone sports company, following the completion of the proposed spin-off [of] the entertainment business, pending all necessary approvals, including by the MSG board". "We thank Steve for his many years of service to our organization and look forward to continuing our relationship with him as part of our board".