The NBA trade rumors surrounding the New York Knicks and Kristaps Porzingis have reached critical mass, with the team apparently determined to sell off the talented big man — which could come at a huge cost to the Knicks.
Porzingis has been one of the hottest points of speculation leading into the NBA Draft, with reports that the Knicks are seeking a top pick in exchange for the 21-year-old. The trade rumors were seemingly confirmed by Knicks president Phil Jackson, SB Nation noted. Jackson said that Porzingis failed to show up for his annual exit interview, which Jackson took as a sign that he wanted out of New York.
That point has led to some controversy, with many noting that Jackson appeared to be grasping for a reason to trade Porzingis. After all, it was Jackson who found a way to play well with some much bigger and more controversial personalities, including Dennis Rodman during his tenure with the Chicago Bulls.
Others noted that the NBA trade rumors could spell a very dark future for the New York Knicks, who have not seen a player as promising as Porzingis in quite some time. Moke Hamilton of Basketball Insiders noted that there is quite a bit of unrest among Knicks fans, who are unsettled over the rumors that the team may be dumping its best player for a seemingly insignificant slight.
I can tell you this, I know A LOT of Knicks fans that are prepared to wash their hands and walk away if Porzingis is traded.
— Moke Hamilton (@MokeHamilton) June 22, 2017
There could be more than just unrest among fans if Kristaps Porzingis is traded. Other players are already seizing on Phil Jackson’s seemingly hard-line stance over the missed interview. As USA Today Sports noted, Philadelphia 76ers big man Joel Embiid posted on Twitter that his team would be a safe haven for players not wanting to play under such conditions.
We don't care about Exit meetings in Philly… you're welcome to join
— Joel Embiid (@JoelEmbiid) June 22, 2017
Anthony Slater, the Golden State Warriors beat writer for the San Jose Mercury News, also noted that the NBA trade rumors would likely lead to some very unhappy members of the New York Knicks and could even bring something of a mutiny on the team.
If Phil trades Porzingis for missing an exit interview I'm pretty sure no Knick will show up to exit interviews next year.
— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) June 22, 2017
If the New York Knicks do follow up on the trade rumors and deal Kristaps Porzingis, they may be looking to move into the front end of the NBA Draft. ESPN insider Ian Begley reported that the team has been in discussions with each of the teams in the top five.
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) June 20, 2017
— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) June 22, 2017
Even if the NBA trade rumors surrounding Kristaps Porzingis do not play out before the NBA Draft, the team could still be looking for a partner to move him and were reportedly in serious talks with at least one team. What that would mean for the future of the Knicks — and their fans — remains to be seen.
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