NBA Rumors: Masai Ujiri to become Knicks president if Phil Jackson leaves?

NBA Rumors: Masai Ujiri to become Knicks president if Phil Jackson leaves?

Phil Jackson has been the president of the New York Knicks for only about two years but according to the latest NBA rumors, the team already has a replacement for him. One of the names on the Knicks list of potential candidates is current Toronto Raptors general manager Masai Ujiri.

Frank Isola of the New York Daily news noted in his report that the head coach hunting of the Knicks could cause friction between Jackson and Madison Square Garden chairman, James Dolan. NBA rumors suggest that Jackson is looking to name Kurt Rambis as the official head coach while Dolan may not be ready to give his blessing.

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If Jackson can’t get what he wants, he might have no choice but to leave the Knicks as mentioned in a previous report and NBA rumors. He was linked to a return to the Los Angeles Lakers wherein he helped the franchise win five NBA championships as their head coach.

Isola added that the Masai Ujiri has a history with Dolan as he facilitated the Carmelo Anthony trade back when he was with the Denver Nuggets. He also traded Andre Bargnani to New York and was even close to sending Kyle Lowry a couple of seasons ago before Dolan refused to accept the deal.

It should also be noted that Ujiri was hired by former Anschutz Entertainment Group and Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment CEO, Tim Leiweke.

Leiweke has since left the Raptors and is the current business partner of Irving Azoff, who facilitated Phil Jackson’s move to the Knicks. Azoff is also a business partner of James Dolan which could make this very complicated.

However, Ujiri still has two more years left on his contract with the Raptors and the Knicks should stay patient. They have a future superstar in Kristaps Porzingis who could attract players, but they first need to find a head coach to help them become contenders.

Photo Courtesy: Keith Allison/Wikimedia