Knicks bring Mark Warkentien aboard

NEW YORK -- The New York Knicks have named Mark Warkentien the director of pro player personnel, team president Donnie Walsh announced Saturday.

Warkentien, formerly the vice president of basketball operations for the Denver Nuggets, will consult with Walsh on preparation for the NBA draft, have scouting assignments and will advise on personnel moves.

Warkentien could prove to be a key acquisition at a time when the Knicks have been mentioned in trade talks involving Nuggets superstar Carmelo Anthony.

The Nuggets declined to extend Warkentien's contract in August, when the team was restructuring its front office. He was the NBA's executive of the year in 2008-09, when the Nuggets reached the Western Conference finals.

"Mark is an excellent basketball operations executive and we are pleased to add him to our staff of highly accomplished executives and scouts," Walsh said in a statement. "Mark will serve as a consultant and adviser and I look forward to working with him."

Warkentien also held front office positions for the Portland Trail Blazers, Cleveland Cavaliers and Seattle SuperSonics. Before
that, he spent 11 years in the basketball operations department at UNLV.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.