Steve Mills: Kristaps Porzingis Told Knicks He'd Return to Europe Without Trade

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistMay 22, 2019

New York Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis stands on the court during a time out in the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Brooklyn Nets, Friday, Oct. 19, 2018, in New York. The Nets won 107-105. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
Mary Altaffer/Associated Press

Kristaps Porzingis was reportedly willing to return to Europe rather than continue his NBA career with the New York Knicks before the franchise traded him to the Dallas Mavericks in a midseason deal.  

SNY noted Knicks president Steve Mills and general manager Scott Perry revealed as much during a fan forum series on Wednesday.

"When he walked into our office—my office and Scott was sitting there with me—and point blank said to us, 'I don't want to be here, I'm not going to re-sign with the Knicks, and I'll give you seven days to try and trade me or I'm going back to Europe,'" Mills said of the ultimatum Porzingis provided.

These comments echo the remarks Mills made in February when he was speaking to MSG Network's Rebecca Haarlow and said Porzingis "made it clear" he wouldn't re-sign in New York:

The Knicks eventually traded him to Dallas along with Tim Hardaway Jr., Courtney Lee and Trey Burke in exchange for Dennis Smith Jr., DeAndre Jordan, Wesley Matthews and two future first-round draft picks.

Porzingis is set to be a restricted free agent this offseason and has a qualifying offer for the 2019-20 campaign worth just less than $4.5 million. Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium reported in January that he planned to sign the qualifying offer instead of testing restricted free agency.

That would give him the chance to become an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2020.

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