The NBA, like many professional organizations, is a place all about one’s network: opportunities arise from who someone knows and how they know them.
That’s the case here, as Knicks executive Mark Hughes will join the Los Angeles Clippers as Assistant General Manager, Shams Charania reports. Hughes worked as an assistant coach for Doc Rivers on the Orlando Magic. With Rivers recently departing the Clippers’ front office to focus on his coaching duties, he likely seeks people around him who he can trust and help carry out his vision. Hughes certainly fits the bill.
The executive, who was promoted in 2011 under Donnie Walsh, has been a highly coveted commodity around the NBA this offseason. He interviewed for multiple positions, including those with the Hawks and Bucks. The Knicks’ front office has undergone shuffling of their own, but the organization passed Hughes up in hiring Gerald Madkins from the Clippers as Assistant G.M. instead.
Hughes has been with New York since 2007, but has really risen to prominence in recent years. He was a rare bright spot as part of other failed front office regimes, known for his strong eye for talent, reliability, and personable nature. The team let a good one go, but it’s clear they have other plans (and other people in mind) for the future.
Hughes and new Knicks G.M. Scott Perry share an agent, so it wouldn’t have been surprising to see the former stick around. Still, the opportunity to take on a larger role and be reunited with Rivers puts Hughes in much better standing as his own career continues to progress.