Apparently, the Knicks’ surging star and lone bright spot within the organization since being selected 4th overall in the 2015 NBA Draft, Kristaps Porzingis, has once again skipped a team meeting after reportedly doing so a couple of months ago as he was frustrated with the dysfunctional nature of the Knicks under Phil Jackson’s command.
So, after watching the attitude from the 21 year old Latvian prospect, and seeing how incredibly awesome he has fared throughout his first couple of seasons in the NBA averaging 16.6 points and 7.3 rebounds with 1.9 blocks per game on 45% from the field and 35% from three, it’s no surprise that several organizations called about the possibility of trading for the Power Forward.
A few days ago he posted on the Twitter this picture:
But, he said that he was hacked last night.
Do you believe him? Check what Draymond Green said about this case at the 20:20-minute mark with Bay Area News Group writer Marcus Thompson II (via Uninterrupted):
Listen, man. I had an episode on social media this summer and the first thing I said was that I was hacked … Then I said I wasn’t hacked. Kristaps, I’m sorry. But no one believes you. You’re trying to go to the Clippers … Maybe you was drunk and, you know, your true feelings came out. But you weren’t hacked, my man.
Where there's smoke, there's fire...
If Kristaps does want out of MSG, his value is probably never going to get any higher than it is right now, so the Knicks have a huge problem in front of them, as they could ride him until he gets even more tired of the situation or they could take a hail mary and let him go while getting the best possible assets in return.
Having said that, let’s take a look at the top 5 destinations for Kristaps, where he could thrive on teams that would actually compete for something while the Knicks would also be quite satisfied with what they get out of the deal.
Los Angeles Lakers
The Los Angeles Lakers are one of the franchises that are going to be more aggressive during this upcoming offseason trying to acquire a star-caliber player that can get them back into title contention, and they definitely have some pretty intriguing assets on their hands to help them achieve that goal.
So, Magic Johnson could send D'Angelo Russell and Julius Randle in exchange for the Latvian, making it quite attractive for a New York Knicks team that has had major struggles at the point guard position and could also thrive with the addition of Randle, an emerging talent in the paint, while the Lakers could draft Lonzo Ball to pair him with Ingram and Kristaps.
Just like the Lakers, the Celtics are practically swimming with assets, but they’re actually already contending, and Brad Stevens has proven to be a master of adjustments and can make the Celtics play excellent ball regardless of which players suit up, and having Isaiah Thomas, Avery Bradley, Kristaps and Al Horford altogether would be quite interesting.
So, the Celtics could send Marcus Smart and Jae Crowder to help improve their defense, as well as the Brooklyn Nets pick, a pick that’s very likely to be in the top 3 in this upcoming Draft, and even if the Knicks would still be ages away from competing, they would definitely be in a much brighter spot than they are right now.
Thibodeau and his young Wolves would also be a very interesting destination for the European forward/center, as they could have one of the greatest trios of young two-way players in Porzingis alongside Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns, something quite scary for the future.
The Timberwolves could package Zach LaVine, Gorgui Dieng or Shabazz Muhammad as well as Ricky Rubio to the Madison Square Garden, finally opening the door for the surge of two talented guards like Kris Dunn and Tyus Jones, and after a couple of years; Minnesota would be a huge dynasty for many years to come.
Los Angeles Clippers
The Clippers are going to stay as one of the most aggressive NBA teams during this upcoming offseason, and adding a young talent to their roster should definitely be one of their top priorities, considering they're not going to have a high draft pick in this upcoming lottery.
Having said that, the Knicks could ask for Blake Griffin and J.J. Redick, and considering how injury prone the All-Star power forward has been, it would definitely be a fair trade because Kristaps is younger than Blake Griffin, who is likely to try and test free agency anyways and the Clippers can sign and trade Griffin and J.J. Redick for Kristaps Porzingis this summer.