Kristaps Porzingis of the New York Knicks is one of the best young players in the NBA today. However, the latest NBA rumors suggest that the Knicks and team president Phil Jackson is more open to trading him this summer. The Knicks have the eighth overall pick in this year’s NBA Draft and they are linked to Arizona forward Lauri Markkanen, who is a potential replacement for Porzingis.
The Knicks had another very disappointing season and the drama surrounding the team clearly got to Kristaps Porzingis. The 21-year-old Latvian star showed his displeasure with Jackson and the Knicks front office by skipping a meeting at the end of the regular season. Porzingis will also spend the summer in Latvia while also playing for the national team.
Porzingis and the Knicks have had little to no communications this summer with a meeting between Kristaps’ brother Janis and Jackson gaining nothing. Knicks are unsurprisingly worried because they see Porzingis as the savior of the franchise. In his first two seasons, Porzingis has shown that he is a future superstar in the league and the Knicks need to build a roster around him.
However, Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical reported that Phil Jackson will listen to offers for Kristaps Porzingis before the draft. Jackson had dinner with Arizona big man Lauri Markkanen, who also has the same tools and body as Porzingis. Markkanen met with Jackson in New York City last Monday and it fueled the Kristaps Porzingis NBA trade rumors.
If Jackson and the Knicks really want to go ahead and trade Kristaps Porzingis, most of the teams in the league are surely going to be interested. Here are the four potential trade destinations for Porzingis this offseason if the Knicks decide to trade him.
The Celtics are one of the teams interested in acquiring Kristaps Porzingis from the Knicks, as reported by Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News. Boston has the third overall pick in this year’s NBA Draft and they could easily offer that pick and the Nets’ first rounder next season along with Jae Crowder, a player Phil Jackson loves.
It might be too much for Danny Ainge’s liking but Porzingis will make the Celtics a much better team since he adds shooting and defense. The Celtics also have money to sign Gordon Hayward to form their own super team with Porzingis, Al Horford, and Isaiah Thomas. As for the Knicks, they get two first round picks this year and they potentially get the first overall pick in next year’s draft.
The Timberwolves have a bunch of young players like Karl-Anthony Towns, Andrew Wiggins, and Zach LaVine. However, they need to have an identity defensively for Tom Thibodeau and Kristaps Porzingis could be the answer. Minnesota can offer Ricky Rubio, LaVine and the seventh overall pick in exchange for Porzingis.
The two-headed monster of Porzingis and Towns in the middle will haunt the NBA while Wiggins develop into a two-way player. The Timberwolves just need to add a couple of veteran pieces to take the next step. On the other hand, the Knicks get a point guard in Rubio, a good wing in LaVine while also getting two first round picks to select prospects such as Malik Monk and Lauri Markkanen.
Just like the Timberwolves, the Sixers have young players like Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid and Dario Saric on their roster. They also have the first overall pick in this year’s NBA Draft but they could accelerate the process if they can acquire Kristaps Porzingis. The Knicks might be willing to do business for the first overall pick and Saric.
New York gets to draft Markelle Fultz, replace Porzingis with Saric and select a player like combo guard Malik Monk. It sets up the Knicks’ future while the Sixers will boast a front line of Simmons, Porzingis and Embiid. Of course, Simmons and Embiid need to stay healthy in order to keep the process alive.
Haley O’Shaughnessy of The Ringer suggested a trade that has the Suns sending Devin Booker and the fourth overall pick in this year’s NBA Draft to New York for Kristaps Porzingis. Of course, the Suns likely don’t like that trade one bit but they might have a better package to offer. The Suns can trade Dragan Bender and the fourth overall pick to acquire Porzingis.
Phoenix now has a dynamic duo in Booker and Porzingis while also having an energetic big man in Marquese Chriss in the middle. The Knicks, on the other hand, replaces Porzingis with Bender while also having the chance to select Jayson Tatum, Josh Jackson or De’Aaron Fox fourth overall and Malik Monk or Dennis Smith via the seventh overall selection.
It should be noted that the Kristaps Porzingis trade rumors are just purely speculative at the moment. However, the pace of this offseason’s deals like D’Angelo Russell to the Brooklyn Nets and Dwight Howard to the Charlotte Hornets means that a Porzingis trade cannot be ruled out.
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