Update: approximately 120 seconds after the release of the Toronto-related rumour, Porzingis was traded to the Dallas Mavericks. I’ll leave this piece live for posterity, or at least just to show how wild all this is. The takeaway has to be that Toronto is aggressively pursuing upgrades to their roster.
The NBA is high school all over again. Nothing is static, everything is dramatic, and you can’t head out to Ikea to buy a new dresser without missing a new superstar trade demand.
The Brooklyn Nets, Los Angeles Clippers, Miami Heat, San Antonio Spurs and Toronto Raptors are among many teams expected to pursue Kristaps Porzingis in a trade, league sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 31, 2019
Apparently, the story is that Kristaps Porzingis met with Knicks management on Thursday and expressed some negativity over the New York Knicks’ direction. While he’s been out with an ACL injury, the Knicks have been one of the worst teams in the NBA. They currently sit at 10-40 with the worst record in the NBA. Porzingis has yet to play a minute for the team in 2018-19. The Knicks have lost 11 straight. Last year, Porzingis averaged 22.7 points, 6.6 rebounds, and 2.4 blocks and was named to the all-star team before the ACL injury ended his season. He is a freakishly athletic, talented center.
With the Anthony Davis rumour taking the NBA by storm, Porzingis must be at least slightly upset at his inclusion in potential trade packages. New York’s name is a popular rumoured destination for Davis. If Porzingis is unhappy with the future of the franchise, or he feels like New York isn’t his long term home, it may behoove the Knicks to act quickly and recoup as many assets as possible. Masai Ujiri has been known to deal with the Knicks’ franchise on occasion.
But why would Toronto be rumoured among the potential buyers? Paint protection has been an issue for the Raptors, especially with Jonas Valanciunas out with injury for the past several weeks. Porzingis is one of the best shot-blockers in the NBA. His agility for his size, as a 7-foot-3 monster, is outrageous. In addition, his shooting stroke and handles are what make him an all-NBA caliber player. Porzingis would form a fearsome 1-2 combo with Kawhi Leonard, as both can score from everywhere on the floor and defend nearly every position. I can’t even guess at a potential trade package yet, especially because the center is out with an ACL injury. It’s unclear if Porzingis will even be able to return to the floor this season. However, he is still on his rookie contract of slightly less than $6 million, so don’t expect big money heading towards New York unless larger contracts head out of the big apple, like Tim Hardaway Jr.
Toronto may not be the leaders in the Porzingis arms race, as that spot apparently belongs to DeMar DeRozan’s new franchise, the San Antonio Spurs.
Keep an extra eye on San Antonio https://t.co/AU85kCb8Yh
— Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA) January 31, 2019
All this drama just means that my Ikea furniture will need to wait another day. Who knows what the rumour market will be like tomorrow, but we will sure be in for a wild week before the trade deadline next Thursday, February 7. Rumours are one thing, but who knows if any actual trades will happen. Tune in tomorrow (or 20 minutes from now) to get the next hit from Gossip Woj.