Amid reports that other teams believe the Knicks should be sellers as the NBA trade deadline nears, forward Kristaps Porzingis said he is focused on leading the current group of players to the postseason.
"I have a great relationship with a lot of these guys and every year it's like that and every year a lot of new guys come in," Porzingis said on Monday, according to Newsday's Al Iannazzone. "It's changing and it's changing quick so we've got to understand that part of it.
"It's a business, anything can happen. The situation is what it is and stuff happens. We'll see what happens."
The Knicks, who at 22-28 are four games back of the Philadelphia 76ers for the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference, have made no indication of being buyers or sellers at the trade deadline, but other executives around the league reportedly believe trading players like Courtney Lee, Jarrett Jack or Kyle O'Quinn could free up salary cap space for them to make moves that allow them to focus on the long term.
But Porzingis, who earned his first trip to the All-Star Game this season, wants to lead New York to the postseason for the first time since it drafted him in 2015.
"Playoff experience for myself, individually, would be huge at this point in my career -- the sooner the better," he said, according to Iannazzone. "And for most of the guys. Most of the guys haven't felt that playoff experience that everybody talks about -- that the guys talk about that have been there."
Head coach Jeff Hornacek said the team is also focused on the playoffs despite being under .500 as the All-Star break nears.
"We're trying to win every game," Hornacek said. "Sometimes things happen. Maybe we're in the hunt now. Maybe people didn't think we were going to be what we are. As players they're competitive. They want to get there. ...We're working to get better. Just take it one day at a time. Work on the things you're weak at and that's what our guys are focusing on."
Though New York has the 12th-worst record in the league and is also four games ahead of the Memphis Grizzlies, who have the sixth-worst record in the NBA, Porzingis dismissed the idea of the team tanking to put itself in a better draft position.
"I think they know I want to be in the playoffs and that's the only thing on my mind," Porzingis said, according to Iannazzone. "I'm not going to go in there and be like, 'No, we're tanking. There's no reason to play.' That's the only thing I'm focused on. What I need to do on the court to play better, make my team win."