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Knicks make hiring of Walt Perrin, long-time Jazz executive, official

Walt Perrin, shown here June 15, 2019, was announced as one of several front office hires by the New York Knicks on Wednesday. Perrin spent 19 years with the Utah Jazz organization.
Silas Walker, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — The New York Knicks announced a range of front office hires on Wednesday, including assistant general manager (college scouting) Walt Perrin, who spent the last 19 seasons with the Utah Jazz.

The new batch of Knicks brass also includes Brock Aller as vice president of basketball and strategic planning and Frank Zanin as assistant general manager (pro scouting).

“Walt Perrin has been a tremendous asset to the Jazz organization over the past 19 seasons,” Jazz executive vice president of basketball operations Dennis Lindsey said in statement. “His work overseeing player personnel, including his enormous impact on our draft acquisitions, has been an invaluable part of our franchise’s success and he will be missed. We wish Walt all the best in his new role with the New York Knicks.”

The Knicks have been overhauling their front office in recent months and are on a clear mission to find, acquire and develop talent. Though that’s always the goal in basketball, the hires the team has made, as well as the distinction between Perrin and Zanin in their assistant general manager titles — focusing on different areas of scouting — point toward a concerted effort to ramp up talent evaluation.

Perrin’s departure from the Jazz to the Knicks was first reported on May 18.

Perrin, who most recently held the position of vice president of player personnel for the Jazz, and did so for the past 12 years, has long been a key figure in the team’s scouting efforts. He would attend NCAA games and practices, international competitions and even high school events almost year-round.

That excluded May and June, when he was responsible for getting prospects to Utah for annual predraft workouts, and he became the team’s point of contact for the media after each workout and in the days leading up to the draft.

The Knicks have two first-round picks in this year’s draft, which remains scheduled for June 25. The draft is expected to be postponed in the coming weeks.

“We have assembled a diverse front office comprised of highly regarded and experienced basketball executives who have influenced some of the most successful players and organizations in the league,” Knicks president Leon Rose said in a statement. “These additions will complement the structure we already have in place and assist us in acquiring talent and developing strategies to build a team our fans can be proud of.”

The Knicks also announced the return of general manager Scott Perry on a one-year extension.