Kristaps Porzingis is, by far, the best thing the Knicks have going for them.
But he skipped his exit interview over reported frustration with the team’s dysfunction. That led to several other teams sending trade offers. Porzingis tweeted, “LA Clippers .” Even an interview about Porzingis’ commitment to New York, Porzingis’ brother talked about “If he were traded…”
Hornacek was asked about his certainty that the Latvian will remain with the franchise.
“There’s no doubt in my mind,” Hornacek said.
Still, that confidence isn’t based on anything Porzingis told him directly. Hornacek said his only contact with Porzingis was a text message that probably went ignored, as Hornacek declined to answer — while holding a guilty smile — whether Porzingis responded to his text.
Knicks president Phil Jackson, via Nick Friedell of ESPN:
“I think Jeff [Hornacek] said something yesterday, and he kind of expressed our feelings about it.”
Porzingis might be unhappy with the Knicks, but he’s at least saying the “right” things.
More importantly, it doesn’t matter much how he feels. He’s under contract for two more years and then would be a restricted free agent. Leaving within three years would require taking the qualifying offer, a huge financial setback.
That team control is part of what makes Porzingis so valuable.
Porzingis can agitate for a trade as much as he wants, but I doubt even Jackson would back off this stance of “no doubt” keeping him.