BOSTON -- Kristaps Porzingis loves New York City and its fans.
But the Knicks’ organization?
That’s another story.
He blew off his exit meeting with Phil Jackson, reportedly because of the franchise’s lack of direction and overabundance of problems ranging from losing games at a ridiculous rate, to Jackson’s incessant desire to dump Carmelo Anthony via trade even though 'Melo has a no-trade clause. And even if he didn’t, Jackson’s repeated comments about 'Melo maybe needing to take his talents elsewhere has done nothing but kill any kind of leverage the Knicks may have had from a trade standpoint.
WHO'D SAY NO?
- First potential trade: New Orleans' Anthony Davis
- Second potential trade: Indiana's Paul George
- Third potential trade: Golden State's Klay Thompson
- Fourth potential trade: New York's Kristaps Porzingis
- Fifth potential trade: Three-way with Kings and 76ers for Okafor, Saric and two picks
That’s more than enough reason for the 21-year-old Porzingis to demand a trade, which, if things continue along their current path, appears to be inevitable.
You can bet if the word gets out that the Unicorn wants out of New York, Boston will be among the teams to express interest.
And while I’m a bit skeptical Boston can put together a package to entice New York to move its only tradeable asset, here’s one possible trade scenario my CSN colleagues came up with involving Porzingis that might get the Knicks to bite on.
NEW YORK KNICKS GET
2017 Brooklyn pick
2018 Brooklyn pick
I like this trade for a couple of reasons.
The Celtics would be adding an impact player in the frontcourt whose skillset would mesh well with Al Horford. Meanwhile, New York gets something it wants -- the sizzle that comes with having the No. 1 overall pick and the substance that a tough, gritty Marcus Smart would bring to the team. And for Smart, it would be an opportunity for him to be a starter and carve out his own niche as a player, something I think he deserves at this point in his career and I’m convinced will make him a better player.
If the Knicks are leaning more towards wanting multiple players and not picks, another scenario might involve sending Jaylen Brown and Ante Zizic along with the top pick in this month’s draft for Porzingis.
I love Porzingis for what he’s done, but I’m really loving what Brown and Zizic have the potential for doing. Brown’s upside is tremendous and Zizic’s strengths -- rebounding and physical play defensively -- are exactly what the Celtics need going forward. But if they're all that stands between the Celtics landing Porzingis, it’s hard to imagine Danny Ainge not pulling the trigger if an opportunity like that presented itself.
But as we know, the Knicks (Phil Jackson actually) are hell bent on getting rid of Carmelo Anthony despite his no-trade clause.
In their efforts to start anew, they may want to include both in a trade (I don’t see it, but stranger things have happened).
Another trade scenario my peeps came up with includes Boston getting Kristaps Porzingis and Carmelo Anthony.
In return the Knicks would get the 2017 draft pick (No. 1 overall), Smart and . . . Al Horford?
When I saw this one, all I could think of was . . .
First of all, if you trade for Porzingis you do so with the intent on him and Horford playing together. And the idea of trading away the most significant free-agent signing for this franchise like, ever, doesn’t add up.
And while Horford certainly had his share of naysayers who didn’t think he lived up to the billing that comes with being a max-salaried player, Horford has never been about putting up big numbers.
He’s a winner, evident by the 10-year veteran being in the postseason every year he has been in the league.
Plus, it’s the Knicks who have the player in this deal ('Melo) that they want to get rid of. Horford AND the No. 1 pick this year is just too much to send New York’s way.
But I do appreciate the outside-the-box thinking!