New York Knicks trade rumors have Kristaps Porzingis speaking to the media now. As the NBA trade deadline approaches, the Knicks continue to explore ways to deal Carmelo Anthony. Weighing in with his thoughts on all the chatter, Porzingis talked about how the Anthony rumors affect him personally. A report by the New York Daily News came out on Thursday (Feb. 2), where the big man commented on his future with the franchise.
Porzingis is in his second NBA season, but he has not come close to playing in the postseason yet. During that time, he has certainly heard his share of Anthony trade rumors, with the franchise stuck between trying to compete and trying to conduct a full rebuild. While he has emerged as a star himself, he still shares the spotlight at Madison Square Garden. It makes his comments about a possible trade something the front office should pay attention to.
“I think it would make life harder for me on the court (if Anthony was traded). He makes stuff easier for me. There’s still a lot more things I want to learn from Melo. So I would love to have him around for a long time. I always love playing with Melo.”
One very noteworthy fact that has been mentioned is that the New York Knicks have never won a game that Kristaps Porzingis played in without Carmelo Anthony. The team is 0-8 in those games and also 0-3 in games where Anthony has been ejected. That says a lot about the state of the franchise, but it’s also a statistic that could stick with Porzingis even if Anthony gets moved before the February 23 NBA trade deadline.
In the updated NBA standings, the Knicks sit at 22-29 and the No. 11 team in the Eastern Conference. The Knicks are one-and-a-half games behind the Charlotte Hornets (23-27) for the No. 8 seed and final spot in the playoffs. While the team could catch the Hornets with a short winning streak, it would still set up a first-round matchup against the Cleveland Cavaliers in the postseason. Do the Knicks have a good enough roster to dethrone the reigning NBA champions?
Getting back to Kristaps Porzingis, he is putting together a really good season for the Knicks this year. In 43 games, Porzingis is averaging 18.7 points, 7.1 rebounds, 1.3 assists, and 2.0 blocks per game. His minutes have been increased to 33.2 a night, while his shooting percentages have also gone up. This season Porzingis is shooting 45.2 percent from the field and 37.9 percent from three-point range. Those numbers rank him among the best low-post players in the game, showing just how valuable he is to the future of the franchise.
Knicks team president Phil Jackson has some important decisions to make over the next three weeks, including what type of players he wants to place around Kristaps Porzingis. If the team is indeed set on moving on from Carmelo Anthony, it may also be important to bring in other players who could help take the spotlight off Porzingis. While he has already become a star in the league, it is not clear whether he can lead a team by himself. That’s an important aspect to the decisions Jackson has to make this month.
In addition to playing well for the Knicks, Porzingis has also proven that he knows how to speak with the media. He has always had positive things to say about Anthony, even on nights where the All-Star forward might have cost his team a chance to win. It’s true that Porzingis is a better player with Anthony on the court, as it takes the attention of the defense away from him. While the latest New York Knicks trade rumors will certainly affect Anthony’s future in the league, it will also have a huge impact on Porzingis.
[Featured Image by Mike Stobe/Getty Images]