Donnie Walsh, the former Pacers czar who's seized the front office reins from Isiah Thomas in New York, may be looking to fuel the re-building process with key pieces from Detroit. From Newsday:
As for the coach, experienced options include current Knicks assistant Herb Williams, Pistons assistant Terry Porter and former Bulls coach Scott Skiles. But Walsh has a record of hiring inexperienced head coaches, so Jackson could be a consideration on the bench, too.
Walsh also realizes that the Knicks need to get serious about international scouting, an area they have badly neglected. Walsh is believed to be leaning toward adding a third person for that role, and Pistons director of international scouting Tony Ronzone would be among the leading candidates.
Ronzone brought the so-called "moneyball" approach based on statistical and video analysis to international scouting. USA Basketball managing director Jerry Colangelo hired him last year to head up advance scouting for Team USA. Whatever Ronzone is earning in Detroit, James Dolan would easily beat it if Walsh asked him to do that.
I'm not surprised at all to see another team trying to emulate Detroit's blueprint: the Sonics did it a couple of years ago when they nabbed former director of personnel Scott Perry to be their assistant GM, and both Ronzone and John Hammonds are mentioned as candidates every time there's a vacancy around the league.
Hammond seems content in Detroit (he may not be at the top of the organizational chart, but he's just a small step away as Dumars' trusted right-hand man), but it seems inevitable that Ronzone will eventually move on to continue his climb up the food chain.
Long-time readers of this site know that I've always been intrigued by Ronzone -- he's had one of the most interesting careers of anyone in basketball, canvassing every inch of the globe to coach and scout the sport. There's no bigger stage than New York, so if anything comes from this rumor, I wish him luck.