Knicks president Phil Jackson has not ruled out the possibility of trading F Kristaps Porzingis, and many teams are interested, per The Vertical's Adrian Wojnarowski.
In talks with the Suns about Porzingis, the Knicks have expressed interest in acquiring either Devin Booker or Marquese Chriss and the fourth overall pick in Thursday night's NBA Draft, according to Yahoo! Sports, though Phoenix is not interested in dealing either Booker or Chriss.
Jackson had said trading Porzingis was "off the table" already this offseason, but clearly that isn't the case. According to ESPN's Ian Begley, Porzingis' brother, Janis, says the New York star wants to stay with the Knicks and will play out his contract. If he is traded, though, he will explore free agency.
For teams interested in Porzingis, the price being set by the Knicks is "extremely high."
The 21-year-old is not on good terms with the Knicks as he skipped his exit interview with Jackson and general manager Steve Mills back in February. The team has yet to make contact with Porzingis since then.
Several teams reportedly reached out to the Knicks immediately after hearing of his absence. The Boston Celtics, who own the No. 3 pick in the NBA Draft, reportedly want the Latvian star.
If Porzingis is shipped away, the Knicks could consider Arizona's Lauri Markkanen with their No. 8 pick in the NBA Draft Thursday. Wojnarowski added that Jackson met with Markkanen in New York on Monday.
Porzingis averaged 18.1 points, 7.3 rebounds and 2.0 blocks last season. The Knicks picked up his club option on his contract for the 2018-2019 season, which means he will make roughly $10.2 million over the next two seasons.
June 20: Just when you think things can't get any stranger or more unreasonable, Phil Jackson never ceases to surprise people. When he does, it's usually not a good thing.
This is no different. There's absolutely no reason to be open to a potential Kristaps Porzingis trade, especially considering the direction this team should be headed in. Jackson has made it clear Carmelo Anthony is not in the future plans of this franchise. With that in mind, Porzingis represents the future as the team's primary building block and foundation.
Such a concept is something the team's fan base can get behind. Trading him is not. Being open to dealing the budding star merely suggests a further lack of vision, and a disregard for an awareness of how this makes the team look: foolish and in a state of disarray.
Porzingis has long stood tall as a rare bright light during Jackson's tenure. Of course, reeling back a Kevin Durant or Anthony Davis like player may be too tempting to resist. That certainly doesn't appear to be a likely outcome, however. Still on the cusp of true greatness, the 21 year old has surely flashed potential of reaching that next plateau of true stardom over his first two years in the league. Trading him, even for potentially high draft picks, would present the Knicks with more of the unknown.
Porzingis has steadily become a proven commodity and there's still plenty more to see.
Perhaps opposing teams seem to understand that better than Jackson at this point.