The New York Knicks are riding a winning wave of emotion after the Carmelo Anthony fiasco with Kristaps Porzingis leading the way. However, that could all come to an end in 2019. What the Knicks are facing is the possibility of a rebuild with no real sign that a truce is coming. Kristaps Porzingis will be free to either stay or go after next season and the Knicks brass might be concerned.
The trouble started last season as Carmelo’s name was constantly brought up in trade rumors. Porzingis took a liking to Carmelo and viewed him as a mentor on the court. But, Phil Jackson and owner James Dolan wanted Carmelo gone and was willing to do whatever it took, even if that meant going against their future face of the franchise.
Once the Knicks season ended, Porzingis left without speaking to Jackson during the exit interviews, then went against the Knicks wishes and played for his National Team. For some, the writing was on the wall that Porzingis and the Knicks weren’t on the same page. Rumors also swirled that Porzingis may have wanted out of New York himself.
The only issue was that Porzingis had no say so in the matter, unlike Carmelo.
It’s funny how time changes things, right? The Knicks are off to a good start this year and while Porzingis is leading the way, he’s finally getting the help Carmelo could only dream of. But, is it enough, and is he still happy playing in New York? That’s the burning questions the Knicks and their fans would love to find the answer to.
Well, according to his brother, Janis Porzingis, K.P. will not base his free agent decision on money. The Knicks can offer Porzingis a max deal this summer, but it’s the loyalty and winning that Porzingis wants. After his brother offered this news up to The New York Daily News, K.P., of course, tried to downplay the situation.
While his words offered little weight, his play has fans thinking this will be a long-term marriage. Not so fast.
— ESPN New York (@ESPNNewYork) November 2, 2017
The Knicks have been here before and just as quick as the hot start came, it could easily hit rock bottom. The Knicks are hoping a few things will fall their way this year. One of them is Frank Ntilikina. If the rookie can pick up the NBA quickly, that will give the Knicks the balance needed to win in the Eastern Conference.
So far, it’s been the Porzingis show but he’s had help from the newly acquired Enes Kanter and Tim Hardaway Jr, who has started to heat up after a dismal start to the season. If the Knicks can continue to make strides, will that be enough to keep Porzingis in Madison Square Garden?
The Knicks are hoping he will sign their extension in the offseason but what if he doesn’t? What if Porzingis decides to bet on himself and test the waters in 2019? There are teams out there with the cap space to steal him away and the Knicks have every reason to worry.
[Featured Image by Elsa/Getty Images]