The New York Knicks are reportedly listening to offers for Kristaps Porzingis, and in the process, driving their fans to the edge.
According to several reports, the Knicks have been open to the idea of trading the 22-year-old, third-year big man, driving what Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski described as a “frenzy” of interest.
According to Wojnarowski, the Knicks met with 7-foot draft prospect Lauri Markkanen, whose size and shooting ability, in Jackson’s eyes, makes him a possible target as a Porzingis replacement with the eighth pick in the draft.
This comes after Porzingis skipped his exit meeting with team president Phil Jackson because of his frustration with the drama and instability around the team. During his exit interview, Jackson told the media that nobody on the Knicks is untouchable.
According to ESPN’s Ian Begley, the Knicks have not been in contact with Porzingis, who’s been working out in Europe, since the season ended. Kristaps’ brother, Janis, who is also an agent for Kristaps, told Begley, “Despite how the Knicks are treating their players, Kris wants to stay in New York. He loves the city and he loves the fans and he wants to win with this team.”
While the Knicks appear to be listening to offers, it doesn’t sound like Porzingis will be easy to get. Yahoo’s Chris Mannix reported that the price is described as “extremely high,” while ESPN’s Zach Lowe reported that it’s “super high.”
Nonetheless, the NBA world has been baffled by the Knicks’ reported willingness to move a potential superstar. At 7-foot-3, with the ability to create his own shot, shoot the three, and protect the rim, Porzingis projects to be a unique and generational talent. As Basketball Insider’s Tommy Beer noted, Porzingis’ counting stats are basically unprecedented.
Porzingis is the ONLY player in NBA history with at least 2,000 points, 1,000 rebs, 250 blocks and 100 made 3's over his first two seasons.
— Tommy Beer (@TommyBeer) June 20, 2017
The rumors had many questioning the sanity of the Knicks’ front office.
Trading the best young player the team has had in 30+ years is a very strange way to preserve your job. https://t.co/hEOGe7ckwA
— Yaya Dubin (@JADubin5) June 20, 2017
With that said, there isn't anyone in this draft that I'd trade Porzingis for.
— Chad Ford (@chadfordinsider) June 20, 2017
Even if the Knicks are doing due diligence on KP, even fielding offers further toxifies a relationship that has grown increasingly negative.
— Chris Mannix (@ChrisMannixYS) June 20, 2017
My hot take is that the Knicks should not trade Kristaps Porzingis.
— Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) June 20, 2017
Only in New York could someone think this is a way to preserve job security… https://t.co/1zwYXgfLo2
— Rachel Nichols (@Rachel__Nichols) June 20, 2017
trading porzingis is drawing a 19 in blackjack and telling the dealer to hit
— ☕netw3rk (@netw3rk) June 20, 2017
Ultimately, the panic may be for naught. If the Knicks’ asking price is truly that high, it may take a monumental offer to pry him from the Knicks, and the teams with those types of assets (e.g. the Celtics) may rather use them on a more proven player.
However, that the Knicks have even taken calls for Porzingis should raise more eyebrows over the questionable job Jackson has done as president.