New York Knicks trade rumors involving Kristaps Porzingis were the last thing fans wanted to hear about in the NBA offseason. That’s the case now, though, as Porzingis is tired of the Phil Jackson drama and how the franchise has treated All-Star Carmelo Anthony this year. This situation is a dire one, again raising the question of whether Phil Jackson should be fired as the president of the Knicks.
A report by Yahoo! Sports shed a bit of light on the situation between Kristaps Porzingis and the New York Knicks. In a show of solidarity with teammate Carmelo Anthony, Porzingis skipped the team exit interview and began his offseason vacation. Teams typically meet with players once the final game has been played, using it as a way to touch base with them before the long offseason begins.
So why did Porzingis skip his meeting? The early rumors state that he is overly frustrated with the unprofessionalism and chaos that the front office has been creating during his first two years in the league. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, Porzingis felt the need to stand up for Anthony when his name surfaced in a barrage of NBA trade rumors earlier this season.
“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.”
Both publicly and privately, players on the roster are expressing frustrations with what has been taking place. A lot of it stems from Phil Jackson trying to use back-channels to convince Carmelo Anthony to waive his no-trade clause. The intent here was to deal him to another team before the NBA trade deadline, but Anthony didn’t want to uproot his family during the season and school year. Never complaining, Anthony has continued to play for a franchise that has missed the NBA Playoffs yet again.
This “strategy” that Jackson has undertaken has cooled the opinions that players and fans have of him. Knicks fans can clearly see that Anthony has committed to the organization, beginning with the signing of a contract extension when he could have sought a new deal in free agency, and continuing by not demanding a trade to another team when the Knicks struggled. Watching a team president try to force out the best player on the roster didn’t sit well with Porzingis at all. That is where the recent New York Knicks trade rumors have been generated.
The stats of Kristaps Porzingis have steadily improved over his first two years in the NBA. During the 2016-17 NBA season, he averaged 18.1 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 2.0 blocks per game. Porzingis was also playing only 32.8 minutes a night, dealing with foul troubles that could be improved as he gets accustomed to the league referees. At just 21, he is a hot commodity who has already flirted with being a star in the league.
If Porzingis does end up demanding a trade by the Knicks, he doesn’t really have a lot of leverage. His contract has one more guaranteed year, a team option in 2018-19, and then he becomes a restricted free agent. This means that the Knicks maintain a lot of team control over him, so if the front office doesn’t decide to move him, they could keep him under contract for many years to come.
Fans of the Knicks should expect more Carmelo Anthony trade rumors to surface as the 2017 NBA Draft approaches this summer. The Knicks and Phil Jackson could look to acquire several draft picks in exchange for the All-Star forward, but he still controls a no-trade clause that he could use to veto any potential deal. If the situation is handled poorly, though, it could lead to Kristaps Porzingis demanding to be dealt and a whole new round of New York Knicks trade rumors that could force the team into a prolonged rebuilding phase.
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