The New York Knicks could be open to trading cornerstone star player Kristaps Porzingis, per reports. GM Phil Jackson has long wanted to unload star forward Carmelo Anthony to expedite New York’s rebuilding process, but new rumors suggest Jackson is more than open to completely blowing his current roster up and that could include dealing the team’s most tantalizing asset:

Knicks Moving Zinger?

Moving Kristaps Porzingis at this point makes very little sense for a rebuilding Knicks franchise. Phil Jackson inexplicably loaded up New York’s roster with expensive veterans like Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah last year, but now seems set to let Rose walk in free agency, with hopes of dealing Melo and possibly also Noah.

Perhaps the motivation to potentially move Porzingis comes from a Zinger tweet earlier this year that suggested the star forward’s interest in playing for the Los Angeles Clippers. The Kristaps Porzingis Clippers rumors spread like wildfire from there, while it has also been pointed out in the past that through two seasons of losing, the Latvian star has realized he doesn’t want to be stuck on a losing team for much longer.

Where Do We Go From Here?

Could Zinger’s disinterest in a bad New York team and New York’s plight to quickly rebuild spark a trade that arguably should never happen? Perhaps, but one has to imagine the Knicks would get quite the haul in return. Porzingis displayed superstar potential in his second NBA season, averaging 18.1 points and 7.2 rebounds per game. At just 21 years of age, Porzingis has the talent and upside to carry the Knicks down the road. The question is if New York actually sees him as a franchise cornerstone or if he’s also willing to wait for New York’s situation to improve.

The Knicks probably have to get worse before they can get better. Rose should walk in free agency, the Knicks should ship Noah out of town for whatever they can get and Melo should be traded, as well. Getting rid of Porzingis isn’t guaranteed to bring them back an equally strong prospect, while ditching a potential superstar for assets doesn’t make sense on this current roster, either.

If a deal does come to fruition, though, where could the talented big man be heading? Porzingis’ own interest in the Clippers obviously makes them an interesting (and obvious candidate), as well as that “other” L.A.-based squad. If the bright lights of Los Angeles really do intrigue Zinger, then maybe one of those two franchises would be willing to hand the Knicks the package they want to land one of the NBA’s top young talents.

Teams that could make a play for one of the best young big men in the game include the Dallas Mavericks (getting their Dirk Nowitzki replacement) and the Boston Celtics (landing the star big man they covet), among others.

New York’s Future

There are two sides to this rumor; Zinger wanting to win and the Knicks rebuilding the best way possible. Despite the old Porzingis to L.A. rumors, Porzingis and his camp have suggested the big man does prefer to stay in New York. The idea, however, is that if the Knicks don’t make the right moves to turn into a title contender and also help Porzingis in his development, they could lose their best asset when he becomes an unrestricted free agent in 2020.

If Phil Jackson is thinking that far down the road, that could sprout some indecision on New York’s part. That, or the Knicks see a clear path to a quick rebuild that we don’t; one that may not include Porzingis and one that could actually be expedited if Porzingis is dangled in trade talks. This isn’t necessarily about unloading Zinger, though. Jackson is simply keeping all of his options open, it seems.

Jackson doesn’t really have many options, though. He has moves that need to be made and then he has the 8th pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. What needs to be done is the Knicks have to shed unwanted salary, they can’t make anymore bad signings, they need to draft the best prospect available and they should try harder to make their best player feel wanted and appeased.

The buzz around Porzingis can be damning or it can be flattering. Knicks fans will hope it ends up being the latter and that Phil Jackson isn’t again set to make a decision that could set this franchise even further back. Ditching Melo and shedding Rose and Noah is a three-step process the Knicks need to figure out. Keeping Porzingis happy and under contract is a detailed plan, all on it’s own.

New York faces long odds to merely be competitive next season and understandably carry woeful +10000 2018 NBA Finals odds at Bovada. They’re not really improving those odds by trading away their best player, but they could give themselves a real shot in another 1-2 years if they keep Porzingis and add the right pieces around him. France’s Frank Ntikilina looks like a great start on June 22nd.

If the Knicks can land their point guard of the future, that kills the Derrick Rose return hype. Then New York can look at a solid young core of Porzingis, Ntikilina and center Willy Hernangomez. Trading Carmelo Anthony (if it’s to the Clippers) could bring back two-way guard Austin Rivers and maybe a few draft picks to use down the road. The rebuilding process is already underway in the Big Apple. Jackson needs to be careful not to disrupt it – or worse – accidentally hit the reset button.

Related Articles
Leave Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *