Tyson Chandler: Kristaps Porzingis Could Become Best Player in NBA

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistNovember 4, 2017

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 03:  Kristaps Porzingis #6 of the New York Knicks reacts after a dunk in the fourth quarter against the Phoenix Suns at Madison Square Garden on November 3, 2017 in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

Phoenix Suns center Tyson Chandler said New York Knicks rising star Kristaps Porzingis has an opportunity to become the NBA's premier player.

Al Iannazzone of Newsday provided comments the veteran post player made Friday after the Knicks power forward scored 37 points in a 120-107 victory over the Suns.

"Porzingis is special," Chandler said. "He has a chance to be the best player in this league. Watching him tonight and seeing what he's done so far this season, he has a real shot of being the best player in this league."

The 22-year-old Latvia native possesses a unique blend of skills that combine a 7'3" frame and terrific length with the ball-handling ability of a guard and the shot-making versatility of a wing. He used that talent to win the Skills Challenge at NBA All-Star Weekend last season.

He's been allowed to take on more of a lead role with the Knicks to open the current campaign after the team traded Carmelo Anthony to the Oklahoma City Thunder in September.

Porzingis has responded by averaging 29 points, 7.8 rebounds and 1.8 blocks across eight games for the 4-4 Knicks. He ranks 10th in the NBA in Player Efficiency Rating so far, according to ESPN.com.

"I'm getting better as a player," he said following Friday's dominant performance, per Iannazzone. "I can feel that. I'm growing as a player and I think that's helping the team."

All told, the conversation for the best player in the league is a crowded one highlighted by the likes of LeBron James, Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, James Harden, Russell Westbrook, Kawhi Leonard and the rapidly emerging Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Porzingis is definitely forcing his way into the discussion with his play following Anthony's departure, however, and his size gives him an asset none of those other superstars can match.

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