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Former GM Names Knicks Over 76ers as Biggest Threat



Former GM Names Knicks Over 76ers as Biggest Threat

Former New York Knicks general manager Scott Perry got to admire his partial handiwork in a conversation about the Boston Celtics’ most prominent pursuer.

Boston currently stands as the reigning NBA champion but its title run led its Atlantic Division brothers to embark upon a de facto offseason arms race that has netted some of the most sought-after names on the transactional ledgers.

With the dust mostly settled, Perry believes that his former employers have the edge of the City of Brotherly Love, indirectly crediting some of the moves he made during his metropolitan tenure (2017-23).

“The Knicks have what the 76ers are going to have to work toward establishing this year, and that is the cohesion,” Perry remarked in an appearance on the “Hoop Genius” podcast. “They’ve got a group of guys, their core guys, like (Julius) Randle, and (Jalen) Brunson, Villanova guys that were there together last year, (Josh) Hart (and Donte) DiVincenzo, now you add another one in (Mikal) Bridges. Bridges coming in there, it’ll be like he’s been there the whole time.”

Perry was in the Knicks’ front office for the acquisitions of Brunson, Hart, and Randle. Sans Perry, New York made a big splash over the offseason by trading a package headlined by future first-round picks and Bojan Bogdanovic to the Brooklyn Nets for the services of Bridges, who is renowned for his defense and participation (474 consecutive games to start his NBA career).

In addition to obtaining Bridges, New York also re-signed OG Anunoby to a pricey new deal after he came over from Toronto in a late December trade.

Philadelphia, the Knicks’ victim in the opening round of the last postseason, has likewise kept busy: the 76ers’ process around Joel Embiid added All-Star Paul George, as well as accomplished veterans like Andre Drummond, Eric Gordon, and Caleb Martin. Franchise staples Tyrese Maxey and Kelly Oubre Jr. likewise received new deals.

But the established continuity and chemistry in New York, even around supposed newcomers, gives Manhattan the edge in the budding division rivaly, at least for the time being, Perry explains.

“Those guys know one another, they know (Tom Thibodeau), the coach that’s been there a long time. There’s a lot of continuity there that’s going to work in their favor, in my opinion,” Perry expounded. “Their big thing is going to be staying healthy as well. But I always tend to favor a group that’s been together, been battle-tested. They’ve experienced highs and lows together.”

New York, Philadelphia, and the rest of their Eastern brethren are chasing the mighty Celtics, whose well-established core led by Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum landed its first NBA title in dominant fashion, going 16-3 en route to the franchise’s 18th Larry O’Brien Trophy hoist.

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