Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Multiple teams have contacted Knicks regarding Kristaps Porzingis
The Knicks have received calls from multiple teams regarding 7-foot-3 big man Kristaps Porzingis, a team source told ZAGSBLOG.
The source said Philadelphia, Phoenix and San Antonio have called regarding Porzingis. The Daily News also reported that Boston contacted the Knicks.
Philadelphia (No. 1), Boston (3) and Phoenix (4) all hold higher draft position than the Knicks, who pick at No. 8 in Thursday’s NBA Draft. The Knicks were previously linked to a potential trade with Portland, which holds three first-round picks.
The Vertical first reported that President Phil Jackson was not opposed to trading Porzingis and also that Jackson met Monday in New York with Arizona’s Lauri Markkanen, a 7-footer who has drawn some comparisons to Porzingis.
“I can probably say I went to dinner,” Markkanen told Yaron Weitzman of Bleacher Report. “I had to try to some steak in New York.”
Asked if he’s annoyed by the Porzingis comparisons, Markkanen said: “A little bit, but I know why it’s there, the comparisons, European guys who can shoot. It’s a great honor for me, to be compared to those guys, but I don’t like to talk about it too much.”
It remains unclear if Markkanen would still be available at No. 8. DraftExpress.com currently projects him at No. 7 to Minnesota.
The Knicks are targeting guards and wings, including Frank Ntilikina of France, Dennis Smith Jr. of N.C. State, Malik Monk of Kentucky and Donovan Mitchell of Louisville, who was slated to work out Wednesday, per a source.
Upset with the team’s treatment of Carmelo Anthony, Porzingis skipped his exit meeting with the Knicks in April and the two sides haven’t spoken since.
“Despite how the Knicks are treating their players, Kris wants to stay in New York,” Janis Porzingis, Kristaps’ brother, told ESPN.com. “He loves the city and he loves the fans and he wants to win with this team. If he’s going to be traded, he’s going to play out his contact and decide his future on his own.”
The No. 4 pick in the 2015 NBA draft, Porzinigis has averaged 16.1 points and 7.3 rebounds during his two years in New York. He is due to make $4.5 million in 2017-18 with a team option for $5.7 million in 2018-19.
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Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.