Walt Perrin stayed with the Utah Jazz through two different general managers and two All-Star point guards. He fell just short of two decades.
After spending 19 years with the team, Perrin, the vice president of player personnel, will move to New York City to become the Knicks’ assistant general manager, The Salt Lake Tribune confirmed Monday. The Athletic’s Shams Charania was first to report the news.
Perrin was former Jazz front office head Kevin O’Connor’s first hire in 2001. The Illinois native was named the Jazz’s VP of player personnel in September 2007, after spending the previous years as the Jazz’s director of scouting. Before that, he spent nine years with the Detroit Pistons, mostly as the director of scouting there too — though with a couple of years as an assistant coach under head coach Don Chaney. Perrin started his NBA career with the Minnesota Timberwolves in 1993.
Perhaps no member of the Jazz’s front office has traveled as much as Perrin over the past 19 years to various college games, player camps, and other scouting opportunities. As the Jazz’s media guide notes, his current role meant “evaluating players on all levels and assisting Jazz general manager Dennis Lindsey with potential player acquisitions.”
At draft time, Perrin ran the Jazz’s draft workouts, inviting dozens of prospects to Utah so that the Jazz’s front office could see how they played in Salt Lake City. He met with the media after each workout to reveal — and obfuscate — how the prospects performed that day.
Perrin is famous as a ubiquitous presence on the scouting circuit, as confirmed by former Memphis Grizzlies assistant general manager John Hollinger:
“Wow. Perrin is a road warrior, a fixture at every event with any even remotely relevant prospect,” Hollinger said when reacting to the news. “Good get for a Knicks team that needs to be scouring the land for young talent.”
The Knicks have added to their front office this season under new team president Leon Rose. While GM Scott Perry stayed on board, at least for one season, adding Perrin and Cleveland Cavaliers cap expert Brock Aller expands their leadership group.
No word yet on if, or how, the Jazz will change their front office in response to Perrin’s departure, which will be official June 1.