It’s been close to a year since New York Knicks big man Kristaps Porzingis has seen action following a torn ACL that took him out of commission in February 2018. Despite the possibility that the Latvian forward/center won’t be reactivated at any point during the ongoing 2018-19 NBA season, a new report suggests that the San Antonio Spurs are one of the teams interested in acquiring the oft-injured Porzingis.
In a report on some of the NBA “pre-agents,” or players who aren’t due to enter unrestricted free agency in the coming offseason, that teams are interested in, the Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor wrote that Porzingis is drawing a lot of interest due to the expectation that the Knicks are trying to free up salary cap space to sign a top free agent like Kevin Durant this summer. While O’Connor posited that Durant and Porzingis are a “marketable” duo who could mesh well together on court, he also mentioned how the Spurs, in particular, appear to have “significant interest” in the 23-year-old former lottery pick, per league front office sources.
O’Connor didn’t drop too many details about the San Antonio Spurs’ rumored interest in Kristaps Porzingis. He did, however, warn that the Knicks could risk “alienating” the talented big man if they offer him a new contract where only a percentage of the value is guaranteed, much like the contract signed by the Philadelphia 76ers’ own skilled, yet injury-prone center, Joel Embiid. With that in mind, O’Connor wrote that one maximum contract offer from another team could lure Porzingis away from New York, though, in the Spurs’ case, the team might have some difficulty finding enough cap space to sign him this summer.
— Bleacher Report NBA (@BR_NBA) January 8, 2019
Prior to the new report from the Ringer, Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News noted earlier this month that the Brooklyn Nets could make a move for Porzingis this summer, as the team’s general manager, Sean Marks, is reportedly “high” on him. Bondy added that Marks has long been known to make big offers to restricted free agents and could chase after Porzingis if the Nets aren’t able to sign one of the top unrestricted free agents.
Before his ACL injury, Kristaps Porzingis was averaging 22.7 points, 6.6 rebounds, 1.2 assists, and 2.4 blocked shots in 48 games for the New York Knicks in the 2017-18 NBA season. Per Basketball-Reference, Porzingis, who was drafted fourth overall in the 2015 NBA Draft, has career averages of 17.8 points, 7.1 rebounds, and two blocks per game, but has yet to play more than 72 games in a season due to the assortment of injuries he’s suffered since his rookie year.