After a meeting with New York Knicks management on Thursday, Kristaps Porzingis joins the growing NBA trading block ahead of the Feb. 7 trade deadline.
Despite grand plans on the part of the Knicks this summer, the team’s best asset — and, in some timelines, cornerstone star — asked for a trade in a meeting with New York brass. The 2015 No. 4 overall pick will be a restricted free agent this summer and is using what little leverage he has remaining to ask out of New York and control his fate going forward.
This request comes at a time when Porzingis is on pace to miss the entire 2018-19 season recovering from an ACL tear and as he has taken center stage as a key piece of potential Anthony Davis trade discussions between the Knicks and New Orleans Pelicans.
“The 23-year-old Porzingis and his brother Janis, who is his agent, met with Knicks management on Thursday morning and discussed his frustration with the franchise’s losing, its past dysfunction and his own uncertainty over creating sustainable organizational success, ” ESPN reported on Thursday afternoon.
Another key part of the frustration swirling in Porzingis’ thoughts undoubtedly has to be the franchise’s decision to bypass their opportunity to sign the injured big man to an extension on his rookie contract last summer. He will be restricted this summer as a result, and being traded ahead of free agency would give him a better opportunity to end up in a situation preferable to the one in New York.
Now, Porzingis’ distaste with the Knicks has spilled over and he will be on the trade block between now and the Feb. 7 NBA trade deadline.
This is not the first time Porzingis has publicly disagreed with the Knicks’ direction. Back when Phil Jackson was running the team as President of Basketball Operations, Porzingis, in his second season, skipped his customary exit interview with Jackson and the Knicks. A few months later, star teammate Carmelo Anthony was traded and the Knicks have resided in the lottery ever since.
The injured Porzingis is ready to go and the Knicks appear willing to appease him, regardless of his centrality in discussions about Davis or their plans to add talent this summer alongside him.