He is working without an official job title and has not visited New York once since Isiah Thomas called him over the winter to ask for help.
And yet Brendan Suhr could have as much to do with upgrading the Knicks' roster in the coming months and years as anyone in the front office. Just as Dave Checketts had Ernie Grunfeld, and Jerry West had Mitch Kupchak, the guy behind the guy in New York is Suhr, Chuck Daly's former lieutenant who is regarded as a top talent evaluator.

"I think he's an amazing hire for the Knicks," says new Celtics coach Doc Rivers. "He's been around a lot of good coaches and has been able to sit back and evaluate talent. He is one of the smartest minds in our game.

"He knows how to be a GM and he knows coaching. Brendan is great to bounce ideas off of. I used him last year at times. That to me is his strength. In that role he'll be perfect."

One Western Conference executive took it a step further, calling Suhr the best personnel move that Thomas, the Knicks' president, has made next to acquiring Stephon Marbury.

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