Kristaps Porzingis officially became the face of the New York Knicks’ franchise when they parted ways with Carmelo Anthony in the summer of 2017. However, Porzingis’ reign in Madison Square Garden didn’t last long as the Knicks traded him to the Dallas Mavericks before the February NBA trade deadline. Per NBA.com, the Knicks made the shocking decision when the Latvian center left an impression that he wanted to be moved after meeting the management.
Recently, Kristaps Porzingis has once again become the center of controversy after a woman accused him of raping her. Before dealing Porzingis, the Knicks had reportedly informed the Mavericks about the case which they described as an “extortion.” In a recent interview with Brian Giuffra of The Big Lead, Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News denied that Porzingis’ ongoing case was one of the major reasons why the Knicks decided to trade before the February NBA trade deadline.
Bondy revealed that the relationship between Kristaps Porzingis and the Knicks was already strained even before the rape allegations surfaced. Bondy also said that the Knicks were “not totally sold” on the Latvian center as the face of the franchise.
“No. I think, from my understanding, the Knicks were not totally sold on Porzingis as their franchise star and were pretty eager to trade him. The relationship between the franchise and the star was strained and had been that way for some time. And I think they were looking to part ways. The trade, on the surface, doesn’t look good. I mean, you’re trading your franchise player, your star, a guy they had been pumping up as a future MVP and all this stuff, and they basically trade him for cap space and two draft picks.”
Kristaps Porzingis is the target of an NYPD investigation after a woman came forward and accused him of rape. https://t.co/2nR3VF0wg0— TMZ Sports (@TMZ_Sports) March 31, 2019
As of now, the Knicks are yet to see whether the Kristaps Porzingis trade is a success or not. As Bondy noted, the Knicks can only call it a “good trade” if they manage to use the salary cap space they created to sign the likes of Kyrie Irving of the Boston Celtics and Kevin Durant of the Golden State Warriors in the upcoming free agency. After missing the Eastern Conference Playoffs for the sixth straight year, the Knicks are hoping that they can finally return to title contention in the 2019-20 NBA season.
The Knicks have plenty of ways to improve their roster next summer. Aside from having the money to spend in the 2019 NBA free agency, the Knicks also have a plethora of trade assets to engage in a blockbuster deal. If they land the No. 1 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, the Knicks are expected to use it as the main trade chip to acquire Anthony Davis from the New Orleans Pelicans.