New York Knicks president Steve Mills believes that the organization has repaired its relationship with young star Kristaps Porzingis and that the club will be well-positioned to attract top free agents in the summer of 2019.
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Mills was asked by Smith if he had any concern that Porzingis, who is eligible for a five-year extension worth more than $150 million this summer, would seek a trade from the Knicks as other stars such as Kawhi Leonard and Kyrie Irving have done in recent seasons. “No,” Mills said. “We’ve worked really hard in rebuilding the relationship with KP. For Scott and me, it’s been with his brother (Janis Porzingis). We had to make Janis, who is his agent and his brother, make him feel like he was part of our group and let him understand what we’re doing as a team. Where we’re taking this thing.”
The good news for the Knicks is that Spurs coach/president Gregg Popovich likes Knicks young point guard Frank Ntilikina a lot. The bad news for the Knicks is, Popovich also loves Kristaps Porzingis — whose inclusion is probably the only way a Kawhi Leonard deal gets done. According to sources, Knicks brass was interested in pursuing Spurs forward Leonard as a free agent in 2019. But now it looks like Leonard could hit the trade market after a series of reports stated he wants out of San Antonio.
One plausible option is to trade Leonard, which should be of interest to the Knicks. Any deal for Leonard would have to include Kristaps Porzingis, whom the Spurs are said to be head over heels with, as well as a first-round pick. It’s a steep price, but the addition of Leonard plus available cap space in the summer of 2019 could dramatically alter the course of history for the star-crossed franchise.
Kristaps Porzingis said he wasn’t too concerned about his future on Draft Night despite the fact that former Knicks president Phil Jackson was listening to trade offers for him. “I was asleep,” Porzingis said after practice Tuesday.
Kristaps Porzingis: “I tried to not really listen to it. I tried to not focus on it. That can only disturb your work at that moment. I was just trying to focus on the work. That’s something that’s not in my hands at that point anymore. I can’t affect it.”
When the Cavaliers talked to the Knicks about Kyrie Irving, Cleveland brass had no interest in discussing Carmelo Anthony. Kristaps Porzingis was their lone focus.
The Knicks don’t appear interested in trading Kristaps Porzingis, including a possible deal for Cavaliers All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving, according to a league source. ESPN reported on Tuesday that the Cavaliers may be preparing for a future without LeBron James and have Porzingis as a “primary” target in trade scenarios for Irving. The Cavaliers appear focused on getting back a young star in return for Irving, the report said.
“[Knicks president] Steve Mills and [Knicks general manager] Scott Perry on the record were very clear that Kristaps was part of the future,’’ the source said in reference to comments made last month by both executives. “In all the discussions since then — there were other rumors before that Cleveland would want Kristaps — and it didn’t seem that [the Knicks] were interested at all in a conversation.’’
Porzingis has emerged as a primary Cleveland target, but that’s a conversation that can occur only with Cleveland’s willingness to unburden the Knicks of the three years and $55 million left on Joakim Noah’s contract. For now, the conversation is a nonstarter for the Knicks, league sources said.
There continues to be distance between Porzingis and the organization, and how the Knicks truly value Porzingis’ future could become clearer once they’re together to begin the season.
According to Vecsey, however, Jackson was legitimately interested in dealing Porzingis: People knew, they probably wouldn’t have accepted, but Phil was angling to try and trade Porzingis for the No. 1 pick to Boston and he would have taken [Lonzo] Ball. That’s who he was after. In the end, people might really like that.”
This is significant, because the best offer the Knicks can make in a trade for Irving is a package centered around Anthony. As was reported on Saturday, New York is not interested at this point in including Kristaps Porzingis in any trade for Irving. Some in the Knicks organization would trade Anthony and multiple first-round picks for Irving (though there is not uniform agreement on the idea of dealing multiple first-round picks in any trade at the moment, according to people familiar with the Knicks’ thinking).
Last weekend at a basketball camp in Latvia attended by about 250 children, one youngster asked Porzingis in his native tongue why he wouldn’t abandon New York, and Porzingis sounded as if he’s committed for the long haul. According to an English translation obtained by The Post, Porzingis answered: “I feel that it is the best place to win. And if you win in New York, you are king. For the last two years, I have had so many positive emotions here that this is where I want to stay and that this is where I want to win.”
Several members of the organization were in favor of moving Porzingis before the draft, per sources. Jackson’s public discussion of his decision to talk to teams about trading Porzingis did not sit well with owner James Dolan, according to sources.
New York Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek doesn’t believe the franchise will trade young star Kristaps Porzingis. Ex-team president Phil Jackson had discussed the possibility of trading Porzingis with several teams prior to the draft, but no deal materialized. “I think it was out there that Phil was listening but he wasn’t out shopping KP. We love KP and what he does so I don’t see him going anywhere,” Hornacek said on Sunday afternoon following the Knicks’ Summer League game.
Frank Ntilikina joins a long list of people who is relieved that the Knicks didn’t trade Kristaps Porzingis on draft night. Ntilikina believes he can flourish with Porzingis. “We’re both European,” Ntilikina said. “We both have a good IQ and playing pick-and-roll with him will be great. I just know that I will play great with him.”
League sources said Knicks president Phil Jackson’s trade requests to at least two teams were beyond extreme and that they may have just been a ploy to motivate Porzingis, the 7-foot-3 Latvian who seemed to anger Jackson by skipping an end-of-season exit interview.
On the corner of 33rd and 7th, a large digital billboard with the words “Don’t Trade Porzingis” loomed directly over Madison Square Garden Thursday night. “We are not affiliated with Porzingis. We just want him to stay,” the message concludes in smaller letters. The ad is branded with the logo of Cycle, a culture website.
Chris Forsberg: Danny Ainge on trade rumors around the Celtics, including Porzingis chatter: “A little blown out of proportion. I’ll leave it at that.”
Jackson declined to discuss the Porzingis trade talks, instead choosing to focus on Ntilikina. “This isn’t the time to talk about that. This is the time to talk about our draft pick,” he said.
The Phoenix Suns remain in active pursuit of Kristaps Porzingis, league sources tell ESPN. Phoenix, like other teams who have contacted the Knicks, have mostly come away with the impression that it will take a monumental package to land Porzingis.
Frank Isola: There is talk of Boston trying to make a deal with Minnesota to acquire the No. 7 pick. That could be part of a bigger Porzingis trade.
One NBA executive said he could see a blockbuster deal between the Celtics and Knicks. His proposed trade: Porzingis to the Celtics for Boston’s No. 3 pick, a future No. 1 pick and a player, perhaps Jaylen Brown. Can you imagine a Celtics’ frontline of Porzingis, Al Horford and perhaps Gordon Hayward? One word: wow.
Gary Washburn: NBA source with knowledge of talks says 1) Phil’s asking price is very high for Porzingis and 2) doesn’t think anything happens w #Celtics
Dave McMenamin: Source familiar with the talks between Knicks and Celtics told ESPN that New York’s demands for Kristaps Porzingis are “ridiculous.” Also the source gives the sense that Boston will likely keep its No. 3 pick to draft a player and not trade down again.
Mark Murphy: NBA source confirms NYDN report that NY wants both Nets picks, Brown and Crowder for Porzingis. “(Phil Jackson) is just messing with things”
Ramona Shelburne: Knicks source on Phil right now: “he’s dug in. If he doesn’t get exactly what he wants, there will be no (Porzingis) trade.”
Marc Stein: The Celtics remain in trade pursuit of Kristaps Porzingis, league sources say, trying to assemble a package to meet the Knicks’ demands.
David Aldridge: Hearing from several sources that nothing close to imminent between Knicks, Suns on potential Porzingis deal. Things can obviously change.
KC Johnson: Hearing from several people that Porzingis’ availability is dropping Butler dialogue. At least for now, Porzingis taking precedence for tms.
David Aldridge: Factor in potential Porzingis trades: Knicks think KP would have been 1st overall in draft this year & next & want picks reflecting that.
The Knicks are asking such a huge price for Porzingis; most insiders don’ believe the Knicks will get what they are asking for setting the stage for another brutally awkward relationship if a deal cannot be found.
Adam Himmelsbach: Can always change, but hearing that for now the asking price for Porzingis remains massive & a deal would be v unlikely with these requests
Mallory Edens (daughter of Bucks owner): Okay I was like 90% kidding but this is just nuts. @kporzee we got a plane heading from NYC to MKE tmrw afternoon if u need a ride. ??????
Adrian Wojnarowski: The Knicks have made calls to teams about Kristaps Porzingis. They have tried to frame it that they’re listening to teams. They put calls out. The Knicks are motivated to get into the Top 4 of the draft. Josh Jackson would be the target.
Adrian Wojnarowski: They’ve had some pretty spirited charges from teams who offered them more than one first-round pick to get the No. 8 and the Knicks haven’t been in any of those offers. If they don’t do a Porzingis deal, they seem pretty determined on holding the No. 8.
Adrian Wojnarowski: The Phoenix Suns have been engaged with a number of teams. They’ve talked with New York about Porzingis. They’ve been in some three-way conversations involved with George, Butler. They are looking if they can flip that fourth pick and getting an established star player.
Sources told ESPN on Tuesday that the Knicks had talks with each team positioned in the top five in the lottery trying to acquire both its pick and a young player with star potential for Porzingis. In particular, members of the organization have had recent conversations with the Phoenix Suns about a trade involving their No. 4 pick in Thursday’s draft, and New York has had substantive talks with at least two other teams who have called about Porzingis, sources said.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Sources: So far, Knicks and Suns are without traction on a Kristaps Porzingis trade. Knicks will not get Devin Booker as part of any deal.
Sources also told Shelburne that New York engaged the Oklahoma City Thunder in talks for Porzingis, but as one source said of the Knicks, “They don’t have enough.”
Portland need to go snatch Kristaps !! #ripcity mannn listen that would be crazy @Dame_Lillard Damian Lillard: I’m already knowin
Charley Rosen: Just as Phil Jackson feared right after Porzingis was drafted, players that tall and that lanky are extremely susceptible to injuries. Indeed, he has missed 26 games in his first two seasons, the most potentially serious being an Achilles tendon strain last season. He routinely gets bullied at every turning.
Charley Rosen: In other words, in his youthful naivety, the young man is ignorant of the NBA’s political realities. Trades, forced trades, alienation between management and players, disgruntled players who, for whatever reasons, resist their coach’s game plans — this is all business as usual in the wonderful world of the NBA. Porzingis and his brother Janis, who helps represent him, have also said that they want to play with a winner — which, they say, would hopefully turn out to be the case in New York.
Charley Rosen: Despite his size, KP is relatively ineffective when playing the low post. He’s apt to get faked off his feet by smaller players in the paint. But his general attitude is the most troubling. KP and his brother have often complained about how poorly the Knicks treat their players. This undoubtedly has to do with the negative relationship that exists between Jackson and Carmelo Anthony. For sure, Melo’s in-house dissatisfactions have unduly influenced Porzingis.
Knicks president Phil Jackson is making calls to teams about a Porzingis trade, according to The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski on Facebook Live. New York is looking to receive a top-4 pick and an established starter in return for the versatile 7-footer. Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Boston and Phoenix hold picks No. 1 through 4, in that order, in Thursday’s NBA Draft.
Marc Berman: Source this afternoon told Post Knicks boiled down Porzingis net to top 4 pick AND strong asset – which is not likely to occur.
Ian Begley: Phil Jackson says the Knicks have gotten calls on Kristaps Porzingis. Says they are listening.
The Vertical: Knicks have made calls about Kristaps Porzingis, aiming for a top-four pick to get Josh Jackson. – @Adrian Wojnarowski
Stefan Bondy: Kristaps with the “FR” (For Real) and Carmelo with the “REALLY.” Knicks are hilarious.
The Knicks have received calls from multiple teams regarding 7-foot-3 big man Kristaps Porzingis, a team source told ZAGSBLOG. The source said Philadelphia, Phoenix and San Antonio have called regarding Porzingis. The Daily News also reported that Boston contacted the Knicks.
There is no indication that the Knicks are actively shopping Porzingis, and Jackson, as the Knicks’ team president, is doing his job by hearing what other teams might have to offer. Still, the fact that the Knicks are discussing Porzingis with other teams — as first reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports — comes at a curious time.
Howard Beck: FWIW, plugged-in source says to “disregard” buzz about Knicks trading Porzingis. They aren’t shopping him, though they have taken calls.
Judging by the 7-foot-3 forward’s latest Instagram post, Porzingis was as confused as anyone by the reports that Phil Jackson is listening to trade offers for him in the days before the draft. The somewhat cryptic social media post depicts Porzingis wearing a backwards cap and a T-shirt with the letters “fr” super-imposed on the selfie. Short-hand for “for real,” the choice of letters paired with Porzingis’ seemingly sarcastic grin may shed some light on what the Knicks star could be thinking: Are you kidding me?
Still, it is highly unlikely a Porzingis megadeal actually goes through, with one NBA executive telling The Post’s Marc Berman the Knicks are “looking for a home run.”
The New York Knicks have fielded several calls in recent days from teams interested in trading for Kristaps Porzingis, sources confirmed to ESPN on Tuesday. Teams in touch with the Knicks recently say New York has not ruled out the possibility of trading Porzingis, though one club said it came away with the impression that the price tag for the star forward was extremely high.
Jordan Schultz: League sources say Phil Jackson wants to dump Joakim Noah’s contract as part of a #Porzingis trade. Unclear if it’s a deal-breaker. #Knicks
Chris Mannix: Growing skepticism among some execs in contact w/New York that the Knicks are serious about a KP deal. Price described as extremely high. Zach Lowe: Have heard same twice in last hour. NYK will talk KP, but demands are super high. In other words: probably ok to chill at least a bit.
Sam Amick: On the Kristaps Porzingis front, one exec who has been in touch with the Knicks describes their asking price as “very aggressive.”
As Phil Jackson’s stated publicly, he’s not ruling out dealing anybody — including Kristaps Porzingis. And the Celtics, who own the third overall pick in the NBA draft, want him. Now that trade season is in full swing ahead of the draft, the Knicks have been flooded with interest in their star, sources confirmed. And according to a source, the Celtics are among the teams interested.
Porzingis’ brother, Janis Porzingis — who also works for Andy Miller, Porzingis’ primary agent — reiterated Tuesday that Porzingis loves New York and wants to win there. “Despite how the Knicks are treating their players, Kris wants to stay in New York,” Janis Porzingis said. “He loves the city and he loves the fans and he wants to win with this team. If he’s going to be traded, he’s going to play out his contact and decide his future on his own.”
Ian Begley: No one from the Knicks organization has been in touch with Kristaps Porzingis since he skipped exit meetings, per league sources.
Ian Begley: League sources in touch with the Knicks say the club has not dismissed the possibility of trading Kristaps Porzingis in recent conversations
Steve Kyler: I was told any talk of moving Porzingis is laughable to the Knicks. He’s the future. twitter.com/realASRtweets/…
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.”
Several teams reached out to the Knicks to talk about possible trades for Porzingis in the days after he skipped his exit meeting with team president Phil Jackson and general manager Steve Mills, league sources previously said.
A representative for Kristaps Porzingis says that the New York Knicks forward was sleeping when a tweet about the LA Clippers was published on his Twitter account and that the account was apparently hacked. On Saturday evening, a tweet was published from Porzingis’ account that read “LA Clippers” with three smiley-face emojis. The tweet was deleted almost immediately after it was published.
Does Kristaps Porzingis have a secret desire to be traded to the Clippers with his mentor Carmelo Anthony? In a suspiciously timed tweet — that was deleted seconds later — the words “LA Clippers’’ with three smiling emojis popped up on his official Twitter account. One source close to Porzingis said he doesn’t always personally post his own tweets. The source suggested it was possible the account was hacked.
Porzingis left for Latvia more than two weeks ago and has not spoken to Knicks brass, with sources saying he is dissatisfied with how the organization is run — with Jackson looking to ship Anthony. The Clippers’ scenario is intriguing because oft-injured Blake Griffin is a free agent, and there is a sentiment the Clippers could look into breaking up the team after two straight first-round KOs.
Several teams reached out to the New York Knicks to talk about possible trades for Kristaps Porzingis in the days after he skipped his exit meeting with Phil Jackson and general manager Steve Mills, league sources told ESPN.
It is unclear if the discussions led to any substantial trade parameters. Teams were inquiring about trading for Porzingis, 21, after he showed his frustration with the direction of the franchise by skipping the meeting.
Porzingis hasn’t spoken with the Knicks since skipping the exit meeting. He left for his home country of Latvia late last month and plans to play for the Latvian national team in the European Championships this offseason.
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And when you went back to Cleveland, too, weren’t the fans heckling you, just like they were heckling him? Windhorst: I had to have security the first game back, yeah. You had to have security? Windhorst: Yeah. I always tell the story that when I left the airport when I flew down to Miami to essentially move there, which happened like midway through the training camp, I had three giant suitcases, and the guy who’s checking me in knew what was happening, and I don’t remember the exact verbiage that he said. But he insulted me. It wasn’t like “F-U, asshole.” But it was something along the lines of: “Did you pack your soul in here as well?” He didn’t say it that cleanly, but that was the message that he was delivering.
Windhorst: But I have not had a Facebook page since 2010 because what was happening was people were able to target my family, and also my family was able to see what people were saying to me. So Facebook is not a part of my life because of that. I think the fanbase reacted because it was a way to lash out at LeBron. I was way more accessible. And I don’t think people planned to come after me, but when they saw me they certainly had their say, and I can remember sitting in the arena in Cleveland. The media sits in the middle of the fans. And I remember coming back for a game — and this wasn’t even the first game; this was like year two or year three — and my laptop was open in front of me and spitballs were flying and sticking to my laptop screen.
Where do you live now? Windhorst: I live in Omaha, Nebraska. Oh, yes, I vaguely remember reading that somewhere. Windhorst: And I don’t hide it, but I don’t advertise it, and the funny thing is that nobody really knows where I live, but for a while, the bulk of our NBA programming was coming out of Los Angeles. Three years ago, we started this daily NBA show “The Jump,” which is now year round. So I’ve been coming to LA for three years for 50-plus nights a year, and I probably attended almost the same amount of Laker regular-season games as I did Cavs regular-season games last year.
Alex Kennedy: An agent recently told me that this year’s rookies are very affected by online negativity. His players get REALLY upset if they read criticism on Twitter or a mean post on Reddit (and A LOT of young players are on Reddit). These guys grew up on social media, so it hits them hard.
We interrupt our obsessive coverage of Nets free agency for a brief public service announcement. DLo’s “ice in my veins” is an international phenomenon! French TV cameras caught two of the stars of France’s World Cup champions, Paul Pogba and Antoine Griezmann, celebrating their victory by pointing to their wrists and telling the camera they had “ice in my veins” … then shouting out D’Angelo Russell.
July 16, 2018 | 6:06 am EDT Update
Kawhi Leonard is now super max eligible (third year anniversary of the contract signed on July 16, 2015) to receive a five-year $221 million extension from the Spurs. If Leonard is traded, the most he could receive in an extension (six months after the trade) would be $108 million over four-years (starting in 2019-20). Leonard would be eligible to sign a five-year $190 million contract as a free agent with the team acquiring him or four-years $141 million with a team that has cap space.