Storyline: Kristaps Porzingis Free Agency

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Due to injury, Latvian Porzingis has yet to play for the Texans. “Right now it’s really about his health and getting him 100 percent healthy, 100 percent strong and preparing him for an entire NBA season. He’s done an awful lot of work over the last two years since the injury” Carlisle said and went on: “He’s worked really hard since coming to us in February, and so we feel like he’s going to be able to be 100 percent and be ready to go come training camp.” The 23-year-old big is set to become a restricted free agent. “He’s a free agent on July 1. We have to get him re-signed and then he’ll have a program through the summer” his head coach confirmed and added: “Camp starts, I believe, Sept. 30, this year, so the plan is for him to be ready to go on Day One.”
1 year ago via ESPN

Porzingis, who will be a restricted free agent that the Mavs plan to sign to a five-year, $158 million maximum contract this summer, is preparing to help Dallas end a three-year playoff drought next season. “For me personally, the goal is to take that first step at least and make the playoffs,” Porzingis said. “I want to experience that. I want to get that first feel. I understand that we’re not going to win a championship in one year, but that is the end goal. But in my mind, we have to take that first step: make the playoffs, see how far we can get in the playoffs, get that first experience, get that first taste. Then take the next step and make the right moves towards that next step.”
1 year ago via ESPN

Porzingis still has the option of playing next season on a $4.5 million qualifying offer instead of accepting an offer that can be worth as much as $158 million over five years. The Mavs, however, are confident that Porzingis will play in Dallas for years to come. “It’s not a concern I have,” Cuban told ESPN after the news conference. “Everything so far, all the conversations so far, have been very positive. Unless it’s something that we don’t expect pops up, hopefully he’ll be a Maverick for the next 20 years.”

Kristaps Porzingis is Charlotte Hornets center Willy Hernangomez’s best friend. Hernangomez loved playing with Porzingis before and wants to play with him again. So Hernangomez has already planted a seed should Porzingis, traded Thursday from the New York Knicks to the Dallas Mavericks, reaches unrestricted free-agency in the summer of 2020. “I will try to get him here. I’m his friend. I would love to play with him (again). I will say, “KP., come here!’” Hernangomez told the Observer Friday. “I’ve already told him; he knows how amazing Charlotte is. If he would come here, we’d sure welcome him. If not, we’ll play against him.”
1 year ago via ESPN

Porzingis, sidelined for nearly a year with an ACL injury, can become a restricted free agent this summer. Increasing tensions on both sides could culminate with the Knicks initiating trade talks prior to Thursday’s trade deadline or in the offseason to move Porzingis out of New York, league sources said. His uncertain standing with the Knicks has been the focus of multiple teams around the league, who’ve wondered if there would be pathway to acquire him, front office sources told ESPN.

In between the extremes, there’s the Knicks offering less than the full max. Some around the league believe the team will try to include protections in the contract, meaning it wouldn’t be fully guaranteed should Porzingis miss an allotted amount of games due to a specific injury. Joel Embiid’s deal is structured in such a way. However, Porzingis views himself as a max player — as he should — and coming to the negotiating table with less risks discord, especially after letting it reach this point of restricted free agency. The Sixers extended Embiid’s contract before he became a free agent.

Bobby Marks: Here are the deadlines for Monday: * Rookie extensions- 6 PM EST. * Vet extensions for a player with 2 years left on his contract. * Rosters set (DET, LAC, MIL, PHX and SAS still need to trim)- 5 PM EST. * Exhibit 10 converted to a Two Way. * CLE $2.5 and $1.3M TPE expires. Ian Begley: The Knicks are not expected to come to an agreement with Kristaps Porzingis on a rookie extension prior to today’s deadline, so he will be a restricted free agent next summer.

“Our philosophy is that we’re going to stay connected with [the Porzingis camp],” Perry said. “It’s a long-term thing. Obviously you mentioned the point of the cap space in July. But we just feel like we’re in a real good space with him, as well as he is with us. And we’re going to do the right thing by him and this organization.” Mills said they have made it clear to Porzingis the Knicks’ orbit still revolves around him. “He’ll never feel like he’s not a cornerstone part of what we’re trying to do here,” Mills said. “He understands that. We make that crystal clear to him and his representation.”

Mike Vorkunov: GM Scott Perry wouldn’t comment on whether Knicks and Kristaps Porzingis have had negotiations on a contract extension. So is he headed towards restricted free agency next summer? “We continue to stay in touch with Kristaps and he’s part of our long-term plan.” — Perry

2 years ago via ESPN

In an article published Tuesday, Janis Porzingis suggested that Porzingis would not decide to sign an extension solely because the Knicks can offer him the most money, fueling speculation that Porzingis would leave the Knicks rather than signing a rookie extension. Asked before Friday’s game about the possible fan reaction to his brother’s comments, Kristaps Porzingis strongly indicated that he planned to remain with the Knicks. “I think fans know I’m here in New York, I love New York and I see myself as a Knick for a long, long time,” he said. “And I think they shouldn’t be worrying about that.”
3 years ago via ESPN

Kristaps Porzingis’ brother Janis Porzingis said the Knicks forward wishes to remain in New York but also wants the club to create an environment conducive to player development and winning. His brother made it clear that if traded, Porzingis intends to play out his contract and test free agency. “Kris wants to stay in New York; he feels at home there. There is no question about it. The only thing he wants is for the Knicks to create an environment where he can develop and grow as a player and win,” Janis Porzingis said in an interview with ESPN. “If he were traded, he would play out his contract and head into free agency, where he can choose his own destiny.”
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April 2, 2020 | 9:36 pm EDT Update
For the time being, and likely for weeks or months to come, basketball is no longer the team’s primary public concern. “We’re trying to get ahead of the game as best we can,” Tellem said. “As part of that, it’s changing our whole public face. Usually we’re talking about upcoming games, the draft, free agency, all those things in our advertising and content online and obviously we’re now changing that content.”
The league has not made public any plans for the remainder of the season or playoffs, which were supposed to start April 18. Per a contract agreement with the league, players received paychecks April 1 despite the suspended season, but the NBA has yet to reach a long-term agreement, ESPN reported. “There will be a time, when we flatten the curve and we’re on the significant down side of the curve, that professional sports and all sports will play an important role in the healing of this country,” Tellem said.
April 2, 2020 | 8:15 pm EDT Update
P.J. Tucker will release a new limited-edition collection of clothing items next week to help promote awareness of coronavirus safety measures and raise funds for the Houston Food Bank and local businesses and vendors. Tucker announced that he and The Better Generation will make items available for a preorder through the weekend or while supplies last. The items will include long and short sleeve shirts, shorts and a baseball cap and feature COVID-19 awareness graphics.
“We all came together and said we wanted to do something positive,” Tucker said. “With so much negativity and so much stuff going on right now in the world, we wanted to do something to give back and help out. We’re doing three different shirts, three different shorts and a hat. There is a social distancing logo and messaging on the back with the logo for the store.”
April 2, 2020 | 5:36 pm EDT Update
Porter, who spent one season at Missouri, said he’s got a private gym that he can access whenever he wants. “I’ve literally been in the gym just as much as I was in Denver, which has been really good,” Porter said on Altitude’s digital show. “I feel like I haven’t really lost a lot. And it’s been good for my ankle, too, because you know my ankle was still kind of sore.”
In his downtime, he said he’s been preparing for the NBA 2K tournament that will air Friday night on ESPN. Porter, a No. 12 seed, drew No. 5 seed Devin Booker of the Phoenix Suns. Booker’s a notorious gamer, but Porter liked his chances. “I’m just naturally good at 2K,” he said. “It’s kind of weird. 2K, if you’re good at actual basketball, like it translates.”
The Atlanta Hawks, through the Hawks Foundation and State Farm, are funding the preparation of 4,000 meals weekly to be delivered to the more than 1,000 frontline healthcare workers treating COVID-19 patients at Emory Healthcare through a four-week pilot that is part of the newly-formed Atlanta Healthcare Heroes inaugural program. The meals are provided in partnership with two local Atlanta restaurants, which are now able to re-employ “hundreds” of workers who were recently laid off or furloughed due to the financial effects of the crisis, according to Hawks CEO Steve Koonin.
April 2, 2020 | 5:11 pm EDT Update
Although it launched last October, the Utah Jazz is using their Utah Jazz Podcast Network as an outlet for players to broaden their off-the-court reach and skills. “Our players have obviously been focused on keeping themselves healthy and making sure that their family and those close to them are healthy,” Bart Sharp, the Jazz’s senior vice president of marketing, said. “But they’ve also expressed a desire to try and provide some sense of normalcy and entertainment to our fan base during this time and wanted to find ways in which they can help people during this unique period.”
Already, some of the Jazz’s most well-known players are lending a hand to help produce content for the team. Utah rolled out its first player-specific podcast series, Ingles Insight, centered around Jazz shooting guard Joe Ingles, on March 21. The fifth-year player out of Adelaide, South Australia, is accompanied on Ingles Insight by his wife, Renae Ingles. The inaugural episode had more than 11,000 downloads in the first week, over 200 five-star reviews, and was the second-most popular basketball podcast in the United States on Apple Music, Sharp said.
Another new video podcast series hosted by Utah power forward Georges Niang, Drive and Dish, launched its first episode on Tuesday, March 31. Filmed out of Niang’s home and recorded through Zoom, Drive And Dish is described by Sharp as an “interview-style” podcast. The first episode saw Niang talk with teammate Jordan Clarkson about what is going on right now in a basketball-less world: what Clarkson is doing during the quarantine, his various tattoos, his distinct fashion taste, and other topics. After the debut of Drive And Dish, Sharp and the Jazz are preparing for another podcast series starring both Niang and Donovan Mitchell.
April 2, 2020 | 4:36 pm EDT Update
Doc Rivers wasn’t immediately impressed with Williams when the Clippers acquired him from the Houston Rockets. On Thursday’s episode of The Bob Ryan and Jeff Goodman Podcast, Rivers spoke about his first impressions of Williams. “When we traded for Lou, I was not having Lou,” Rivers said. “I saw a guy that kept getting traded. And I appreciated his offense, but not nearly, never thought it was this good… When he finally showed up three days before training camp, I was not having him. I was like, ‘We’re not gonna work’, you know?”
“I brought him up in the office and I told him my feelings,” Rivers said. “I said, ‘Lou, you’re one of these guys that wanna do whatever you wanna do, and you don’t want to buy-in. We asked everybody to come in. Everyone did except for you… I don’t know how this is gonna work.’ And he said, ‘I’ve been traded five years in a row. Why would I buy-in to you?’, and I didn’t have an answer.”
So with 19.5 seconds remaining in overtime and the Hawks trailing by seven to the New York Knicks, head coach Lloyd Pierce checked Carter into the game and the emotions began to hit him as the home crowd chanted. “I kind of made eye contact with coach (Pierce) and he’s like, ‘Yeah, yeah,'” Carter said on the latest episode of “Winging it with Vince Carter and Annie Finberg.” “Right then, it’s like a chill just hit me.”
April 2, 2020 | 4:30 pm EDT Update

Knicks front office staying put

For now, Leon Rose is proceeding as status quo with an inherited front office in following an unofficial NBA hiring/firing stoppage with the world stopped cold. According to sources, Rose is actively holding scouting meetings with his staff via conference call/video regarding the draft. “I don’t see any teams hiring or firing during this,” one NBA source said. “That’s the sense.”
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Pelicans shooting guard JJ Redick and his wife, Chelsea, are spearheading a campaign that will provide millions of meals throughout south Louisiana while it battles the coronavirus. On Thursday, the Redicks, the Pelicans and the Lineage Logistics, a food transportation and distribution company, announced donations to Second Harvest Food Bank. Together, they aim to provide 1.8 million meals in 23 parishes.
April 2, 2020 | 4:21 pm EDT Update
Karl has not coached in the NBA since leaving the Kings. Cousins has suffered a number of serious injuries. And so, on April Fools’ Day, Karl decided to joke about a potential reunion, saying that both were headed back to the Kings.