HOUSTON — Knicks president Steve Mills and GM Scott Perry sent a letter to season-ticket holders this week, promising “an extremely bright future’’ and to “diligently” use their cap space this summer.
The 279-word essay, dated April 3rd, marked the first time team brass specified publicly the specter of signing “two max free agents” this summer. Mills and Perry have not spoken publicly to the media in more than two months, since the Kristaps Porzingis blockbuster, as the club limps toward setting the worst record in franchise history.
“We can honestly say that the future of the New York Knicks is extremely bright,’’ Mills and Perry wrote in a letter obtained by The Post. “Through our trade of Kristaps Porzingis, Tim Hardaway Jr., Courtney Lee and Trey Burke to Dallas, we enhanced our organizational plan.”
The letter noted the trade added “a young dynamic player in Dennis Smith Jr., a veteran leader in DeAndre Jordan and two additional first round picks.”
With their new tome, Mills and Perry raised the stakes on the summer in noting the deal cleared more cap room for two superstars.
Perry carefully said after the Jan. 31 trade the Knicks now have “financial flexibility’’ but this time management bore in on the mounting speculation and rumors that buddies Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving will decide to team up and join the Knicks in July.
In a recent radio interview, James Dolan touted inside information from agents and players in stating he felt they will have “a very successful offseason when it comes to free agents.”
“We have created a tremendous amount of financial flexibility, which has put us in a position to potentially sign up to two max free agents,’’ the Mills/Perry letter went on. “We will continue to focus on the draft in an attempt to replicate the type of players we added last summer. Most importantly, we will use our cap space diligently and only on players who believe in our plan and are committed to building the New York Knicks into the championship team that you deserve.”
The Knicks could have $74 million worth of space but that would also force them to not exercise options on some young players such as Allonzo Trier, depending how they fare in the draft lottery.
Mills’ letters to the fans specifying the blueprint have not always panned out as hoped. In August, 2017, two months after taking the job over from Phil Jackson, Mills wrote in an essay on The Garden’s website that the club will be built through a young nucleus of five – Porzingis, Willy Hernangomez, Hardaway Jr., Ron Baker and Frank Ntilikina.
Only Ntilikina is left and he played just 43 games this season with his game and durability a question mark and the possibility of being traded on draft night looming. Ntilikina was not referenced in the letter.
The Knicks are 15-63 entering the Houston matchup Friday with the letter calling the campaign a “difficult one from a win-loss perspective.’’
Mills/Perry did not reference their first-year coach David Fizdale but did mention their youth.
“We now have seven first round draft picks over the next five years, and we remain committed to adding young talent to a team that is currently one of the two youngest in the NBA,’’ the letter stated. “…This plan requires commitment and patience from both our organization and our fans. The commitment we are making to our fans is that we will not skip a single step in the development process of our players.”