Knicks Rumors: Execs Favored Trading Kristaps Porzingis After Skipped Meeting

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistDecember 21, 2017

CHICAGO, IL - DECEMBER 09:  Kristaps Porzingis #6 of the New York Knicks walks across the court in the second quarter against the Chicago Bulls at the United Center on December 9, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. 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 Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Kristaps Porzingis looks like a star in the making, but the New York Knicks were apparently seriously considering trading the young forward this past offseason. 

The 22-year-old skipped his exit meeting at the end of last season, leading to rumors about a potential trade. According to Ian Begley of ESPN, these were not just empty threats:

"Jackson and the Knicks then discussed potential trades of Porzingis with several teams in the days and weeks leading up to the NBA draft. Those conversations were painted in some corners as Jackson teaching Porzingis a lesson after the skipped exit meeting, but multiple sources familiar with the matter say that there were members of the organization in favor of trading Porzingis at the time."

Porzingis remained with the team, but Phil Jackson was eventually removed from his position as team president.

Skipping the meeting was initially described as being due to the "dysfunction and drama surrounding the organization," although Peter Vecsey of Patreon reported it was after an argument with head coach Jeff Hornacek.

Regardless of the reasoning, the team clearly took it seriously as Jackson described the trade talks in June.

"We’re getting calls," Jackson said, per Marc Berman and Ryan Lazo of the New York Post. "You know as much as we value Kristaps and what he’s done for us, but when a guy doesn’t show up to an exit meeting, everyone starts speculating on his duration or movability from a club."

Jackson and the Knicks parted ways about a week later.

New York traded away Carmelo Anthony but kept Porzingis as a centerpiece to build around. He has made it count with an average of 25.5 points per game this season, eighth most in the NBA. He is also currently setting career highs in field-goal percentage (46.5 percent), three-point shooting (39.5 percent) and blocks per game (2.1).

With a 16-14 record, the Knicks are also more than halfway toward their win total from last season.

While it is still early in his career, it appears holding onto the forward was a smart decision from the organization.

Related

    Knicks Sign F Jeff Coby to a Training Camp Deal

    New York Knicks logo
    New York Knicks

    Knicks Sign F Jeff Coby to a Training Camp Deal

    Posting and Toasting
    via Posting and Toasting

    Kyrie Believes BOS Can Build Something Special

    NBA logo
    NBA

    Kyrie Believes BOS Can Build Something Special

    Kyle Newport
    via Bleacher Report

    Report: Timberwolves Owner Says Jimmy Is Available

    NBA logo
    NBA

    Report: Timberwolves Owner Says Jimmy Is Available

    Alec Nathan
    via Bleacher Report

    Could Knicks Be the Next Big Thing Nobody Is Talking About?

    New York Knicks logo
    New York Knicks

    Could Knicks Be the Next Big Thing Nobody Is Talking About?

    Mark Wilson
    via NBA Analysis Network