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Knicks wanted to trade Dennis Smith Jr. to Hornets before Steve Mills was fired

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Before Steve Mills was removed from his position as the New York Knicks’ president of basketball operations, there was some internal support for a potential trade with the Charlotte Hornets that would have sent Malik Monk to New York and Dennis Smith Jr. to Charlotte, according to Ian Begley of SNY. 

Instead, the Knicks reassigned Mills and wound up trading Marcus Morris to the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday for Maurice Harkless, a 2020 first round pick, a 2021 first round pick and a 2021 second round pick.

Prior to Steve Mills getting reassigned, there was internal support for a trade package with Charlotte that would have sent Dennis Smith Jr. to the Hornets and landed Malik Monk in New York. Once Mills was reassigned, the club shifted its thinking on that deal and the Russell deal. Now, the focus is on developing young players, filling out the front office and coaching staff for 2020 and deciding which veterans to keep and which to let go.

It appears the Knicks are set on hiring Leon Rose as their new team president. Rose is a longtime agent who currently works for CAA. He represents some of the biggest stars in the NBA such as Carmelo Anthony, Karl-Anthony Towns, D’Angelo Russell, Devin Booker, Joel Embiid, Kyle Kuzma and Chris Paul.

Smith reportedly wanted to get moved at the deadline. His stint with the Knicks has been rather disappointing after New York acquired the explosive guard from the Dallas Mavericks in the Kristaps Porzingis trade. The 22-year-old is averaging 5.4 points, 2.3 rebounds and 3.0 assists in 27 games.