Aldridge, who signed with the Spurs, was supposed to talk with the Knicks, but canceled his meeting with president Phil Jackson.
According to Aldridge, the Knicks wanted him to play center and not his natural position of power forward, to accommodate Porzingis.
"They were saying they wanted me to be more of a center to let their guy [Porzingis] develop and I just wasn’t looking to be that,” Aldridge said. “So I was looking to play power forward, and they weren’t really interested.”
Added Aldridge: "If they’re going to tell me that I have to play center and I don’t want to play center, then of course it’s mutual after that. But before that I was excited to meet with them. I was interested. But they wanted to have their draft pick play and I get it."
Aldridge signed a four-year, $80 million contract to play in San Antonio.
[sny-editorial userid="keithbschlosser"]Aldridge wasn't the only one confused about the Knicks' priorities when it came to drafting Porzingis. While his selection was undoubtedly a good one, it also sent mixed messages to those who believed they were in win-mode now and wanted to go all in by reeling in ample support for Carmelo Anthony as the centerpiece.
The new Spurs' big man would have been perfect for New York. Even dating back to NBA All-Star Weekend in the Big Apple this past February, Aldridge was content making his intrigue with the triangle offense known.
Whereas Porzingis may not figure to make much of an impact during his rookie year, any pact Aldridge would have signed with the Knicks would have been over the next four seasons. He, too, obviously would have been an investment into their future. If New York were hoping to integrate Porzingis into their system, that would have meant the two would need to play alongside one another either way. In the interest in reeling in a true superstar, however, perhaps the Knicks could have played around (at the least broaching the subject) with the idea of Porzingis playing the five. After all, he did so at NBA Summer League last month.
Still just 30 years old, Aldridge is clearly in his prime. By the time his prospective contract would have ended, the younger Porzingis would have still been just 24 years old. The Knicks likely could have made it work if they really wanted to. Perhaps they believed playing him "out" of position next to Aldridge would have sacrificed Porzingis' development a bit.
The fact that Aldridge is going out of his way to explain and reveal this much suggests he had legitimate interest in coming to New York if the situation were right. The team failed to accommodate him.