CHICAGO — Call it a “sneaky hire.”
In moving to replace college scouts Walker Russell and Kristian Petesic, the Knicks added two talent evaluators without making an announcement.
The Post reported Thursday former Heat rival and 2022 Hall of Famer Tim Hardaway being one of the hires.
According to an NBA source, the other hire by Knicks president Leon Rose was an out-of-the-box addition in Vince Baldwin — a longtime Nike talent scout who has extensive contacts across his years in the high school and college ranks.
Baldwin also is close with Knicks senior executive William Wesley, who worked unofficially for Rose at Creative Artists Agency helping get Rose’s clients shoe deals. While in the shadows, Wesley reportedly aligned himself with Nike but wasn’t on the payroll.
Vince Baldwin and Leon Rose@VBScoutU/Twitter; Getty Images
Baldwin and Hardaway were both at this week’s Chicago Draft Combine — Baldwin proudly wearing a black shirt with a Knicks logo. Hardaway, who warred with the Knicks during the 1990s, has yet to be seen in Knicks gear.
Hardaway was once overheard telling people at the Delta Club at the Garden after his son Tim Hardaway Jr. was drafted by the Knicks in 2013 that he would never be caught in a Knicks hat.
Ironically, Russell, who had been with the Knicks since 2005, pushed for the Hardaway pick at No. 24. Russell left the Knicks during training camp to join the Mavericks.