With Carmelo Anthony in Oklahoma City, Kristaps Porzingis is now the face of the Knicks. And former head coach Jeff Van Gundy said this season will be a "great opportunity" for Porzingis to grow.
"I think the Knicks obviously have declared what they want to do, which is rebuild," Van Gundy said during a conference call, according to Ian Begley of ESPN. "And so much is going to be -- this season is going to be about Porzingis and (Willy) Hernangomez, their development, and Frank (Ntilikina)'s ability to learn the NBA quickly at a difficult position and get him significant minutes to grow."
Van Gundy added that he didn't think Porzingis made the expected jump last season, and that he has a chance to do that in 2017-18.
"There was a lot of commotion and noise last year that surrounded the Knicks that didn't have anything to do with winning or development,
Van Gundy said, "so this year hopefully it's a calmer environment, but he's got to take responsibility and accountability for doing what great players do, which is produce every night and unite your team through your effort and unselfishness."
The 22-year-old Porzingis averaged 18.1 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 2.0 blocks while averaging 32.8 minutes in 66 games last season.
He averaged 14.3 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 1,9 blocks while averaging 28.4 minutes in 72 games in 2015-16, during what was his rookie season.