CHICAGO — Call it a “sneaky employment.”
When looking to replace college scouts Walker Russell and Kristian Petesic, the Knicks added two talent evaluators without making an announcement.
The Post reported Thursday that former Heat rival and 2022 Hall of Famer Tim Hardaway was one of the new hires.
According to an NBA source, Knicks President Leon Rose’s other hiring was an out-of-the-box complement in Vince Baldwin — a longtime Nike talent scout who made extensive connections through his years in the high school and college ranks Has.
Baldwin is also close to Knicks executive William Wesley, who unofficially worked for Rose at the Creative Artists Agency and helped run shoe deals for Rose’s clients. While in the shadows, Wesley reportedly allied with Nike but wasn’t on the payroll.
Baldwin and Hardaway were both at the Chicago Draft Combine this week – Baldwin proudly sported a black T-shirt with a Knicks logo. Hardaway, who was at war with the Knicks in the 1990s, is yet to be seen in Knicks gear.
Hardaway was once overheard telling people at the Delta Club at the Garden after his son Tim Hardaway Jr. was drafted by the Knicks in 2013 that he would never be caught wearing a Knicks hat.
Ironically, Russell, who had been with the Knicks since 2005, was pushing for the 24th-ranked Hardaway pick. Russell left the Knicks during training camp to join the Mavericks.
Petesic, a favorite of Phil Jackson, has been fired and has resurfaced at Mike Miller’s agency as scouting director. Miller officials predicted top 3 pick Paolo Banchero (Duke).
On Friday, Rose and Wesley were nowhere to be found during combine practice at Chicago’s Wintrust Arena. Coach Tom Thibodeau sat with new Knicks adviser Gersson Rosas for four hours without leaving his seat, primarily looking at late first-round/second-round and draft bubble candidates.
They were later joined by Knicks GM Scott Perry. Assistant GMs Walter Perrin and Frank Zanin were also nearby in the stands. Meanwhile, Knicks assistant coach Darren Erman was one of the volunteer coaches during game week.
The Knicks contingent will be in attendance for Excel on Pro Day Saturday to see Johnny Davis, the two-way shooting guard from Wisconsin ranked 11th in the Knicks range. Also training for Jeff Schwartz’s stable is the former’s son Mets GM Omar Minaya. Justin, who played at Providence.
A conspicuous absence from the front office was human resources director Makhtar N’Diaye, who is in Serbia for the Euroleague Final Four to scout the Knicks’ 2021 second-round pick, point guard Rokas Jokubaitis, who plays for Barcelona.
Real Madrid beat Barcelona 86-83 on Thursday. Jokubaitis was held to 10 minutes and scored four points without assists in one of his worst games. Barcelona play Olympiacos in the consolation match on Saturday. The Post reported last week that the Knicks are heavily inclined to allow the Lithuanian left to stay at Barcelona for one more season to improve his game and get stronger and is not expected in Las Vegas’ summer league.
Kentucky point guard TyTy Washington said he has not met with the Knicks in Chicago but believes he will visit them for training.
https://nypost.com/2022/05/21/knicks-hire-ex-nike-executive-vince-baldwin-as-talent-evaluator/ Knicks Hires Ex-Nike Manager Vince Baldwin As Talent Reviewer