With the departure of Clarence Gaines Jr., the Knicks may look to add John Halas to the team’s scouting department.
The Knicks are strongly considering adding former Orlando Magic scouting coordinator John Halas to the organization, league sources told ESPN. Halas worked with Knicks general manager Scott Perry in Orlando. Halas would likely be added to the Knicks' scouting department.
— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) August 13, 2018
Halas, now 33-years-old was initially hired as a special assistant to the general manager when Rob Hennigan was working with the Orlando Magic. A year later, he was promoted to scouting coordinator in 2013-2014. During this time Scott Perry was the assistant general manager.
On a website entitled “The Coin Flyp”, Halas spoke about the process of getting to the NBA, and specifically how he got his foot in the door in Orlando.
“I didn’t have to ‘interview’ since the new GM was part of the interview process I went through the first time around. We had stayed in touch, and I was able to give him some tidbits on players I was coaching against that helped his previous organization in their draft process.”
Halas played Division III basketball at Trinity College in Connecticut and has a Master’s degree in Sports Management from UMass-Amherst.
With the Magic, Halas was deeply involved in the scouting and decision to draft Jonathan Issac. According to Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel, Halas and video analyst Brad Jones reportedly left no stone unturned when they visited Issac in Tallahassee. FSU associate head coach Stan Jones (no relation to Brad Jones) had this to say to Robbins about their process:
“They talked to tutors. They talked to academic support people. There’s a whole list of people that they went through. The strength coach. Trainers. Anybody that [Isaac] worked with during the year — they were trying to hit all of them.”
Unfortunately, after Hennigan’s dismissal, Halas was included in a list of nine people that were laid off. However, new president Jeff Weltman complimented Halas and his efforts to scout Issac. Weltman told Robbins:
“The staff was extremely thorough. They did a great job doing background work. Honestly, nothing came up with this kid that would give us any cause for concern. To the contrary, [there were] nothing but raves about him across the board.”
Halas will most likely bring his talents to a Knicks scouting department that seems to have hit gold with second-round draft pick, Mitchell Robinson. Both Steve Mills and Scott Perry will be hoping that Halas can help the Knickerbockers continue this trend of finding diamonds in the rough.