Before Kristaps Porzingis was moved to the Dallas Mavericks, the star reportedly threatened to leave the United States if he was not traded.
Marc Stein reported that Porzingis was so fed up with the New York Knicks that he was willing to spend the rest of his rehab process in Spain (via New York Times):
“The Knicks, meanwhile, were told Porzingis was prepared to leave the team and continue his knee rehabilitation in Spain if he was not moved by this week’s league trade deadline.”
While he is not expected to play again this season, the big man said he was feeling much better after tearing his ACL in February 2018. The idea of him not even staying with the organization to continue his recovery becomes a bit less shocking when reading more details about the meeting.
According to Stein, his meeting with the Knicks was originally scheduled for earlier in January. But he and older brother Jānis Porzingis delayed it and then sat with the front office for “less than five minutes” before they requested an official trade.
Porzingis was selected in the 2015 NBA Draft, but played overseas for Sevilla in Spain from 2011 until he came to the United States. The 7-foot-3 star also speaks fluent Spanish and has plenty of experience living in the country.
The big man was awarded the Eurocup Rising Star before he was drafted by the Knicks in 2015.