It was anything but calm leading in the final days, but Kristaps Porzingis remained with the New York Knicks after the team selected French point guard Frank Ntilikina with the eighth-overall pick of the 2017 NBA draft.
The young Latvian star was inexplicably put on the trading block by team president Phil Jackson on Wednesday despite Porzingis’ steady development toward being one of the top players in the league.
Porzingis averaged 18.1 points and 7.2 rebounds per game during his sophomore campaign in the NBA while holding an ability to score from anywhere on the floor.
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A player that big (7-foot-3) just doesn’t come around every season.
However, Porzingis got on Jackson’s bad side when he skipped out on his end-of-season exit interviews with Knicks management.
The ever-so-proud Jackson explained on Wednesday night to MSG Network “when a guy doesn’t show up for an exit meeting, everybody starts speculating on the duration or movability from a club.”
The calls came flying in from numerous teams like the Boston Celtics, Philadelphia 76ers and Phoenix Suns over the 48-hour period, though Jackson’s asking price was deemed to be far too high for any team to actually pull the trigger even though.
Jackson hinted that “two starters and a draft pick,” could be enough to ship Porzingis off elsewhere.
However, sources told ESPN that when the Celtics inquired, Jackson demanded Boston’s No. 3 pick from Thursday night’s draft, another lottery pick and a player like Jae Crowder and Jaylen Brown.
But as the night progressed, it went from a Porzingis trade being almost a certainty to Jackson simply thumping his chest and showing that at the end of the day, he is calling the shots.
If this was nothing more than a lesson for Porzingis not to take management lightly, it was a terrifying one for the countless fans that believed the Knicks’ future was going to be dealt as a part of a petty feud.