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Why Are Phil Jackson and the Knicks Even Considering Trading Kristaps Porzingis?

Submitted by on June 22, 2017 – 1:49 pmNo Comment

The New York Knicks and, maybe more importantly, New York Knicks fans haven’t had a whole lot to celebrate in recent seasons. The team has, quite frankly, stunk, and the hiring of Phil Jackson has done little to turn the tide in the Big Apple. When Jackson was first brought on board back in 2014, the thought was that he would help inject some life back into the Knicks franchise, which had struggled to find a clear path over the previous decade. But Jackson has made a series of boneheaded decisions since he took a job with the team, and at this point, it almost seems like he’s trying to sabotage himself and get fired. It’s that bad in NYC.

With that in mind, you would think that things had just about hit rock bottom for the Knicks. But on Wednesday night, things took yet another turn for the worst when Jackson admitted that he has thought about trading Kristaps Porzingis, the Knicks’ 2015 first-round draft pick who has been one of the lone bright spots on the Knicks roster over the last two years. Jackson said the Knicks have been “getting calls” about Porzingis, and shockingly, he said that he hasn’t shot down the idea of potentially trading Porzingis altogether. To which Knicks fans have said: Um, what?

“As much as we value Kristaps and what he’s done for us, when a guy doesn’t show up for an exit meeting, everybody starts speculating on the duration or movability from a club,” Jackson said, alluding to Porzingis’ decision to skip his exit meeting at the end of the 2016-17 NBA season. “So we’ve been getting calls and we’re listening, but we’re not intrigued yet at this level. But as much as we love this guy, we have to do what’s good for our club.”

What would be good for the club would be to keep Porzingis and hold onto him for as long as you possibly can. Porzingis could end up being the cornerstone of the Knicks for years to come, and there’s no way the Knicks would ever get equal value in exchange for him. So the idea of trading him away is laughable at best and completely idiotic at worst. The only explanation is that Jackson wants Knicks fans to hate him more than they already do. That’s really the only way to make any sense of it.

Fortunately for Knicks fans, there’s very little chance Porzingis is going to get sent packing anytime soon. But the fact that Jackson is even entertaining the idea in the slightest should be a cause for concern among Knicks fans and should send up a lot of red flags with regards to Jackson. If he’s willing to trade Porzingis at the expense of the Knicks’ future, what else is he willing to do? It just doesn’t bode well for the franchise and is a sign that Jackson might not be what the Knicks need if they truly want to turn things around.

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