Phil Jackson on Kristaps Porzingis: ‘As we love this guy, we have to do what’s good for our club’

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Phil Jackson is reportedly open to trading Kristaps Porzingis.

The Knicks president granted a rare public interview to defend the strategy.

Jackson on MSG Network, as transcribed by Daniel Popper of the New York Daily News:

“We’re getting calls. As much as we value Kristaps and what he’s done for us, when a guy doesn’t show up at an exit meeting, everybody starts speculating on the duration or his movability from a club,” Jackson said on MSG Network. “So we’ve been getting calls. We’re listening, but we’re not intrigued yet as this level. But as much as we love this guy, we have to do what’s good for our club.”

Jackson was asked specifically what is best for the club, and why he would be considering trading Porzingis, who is still only 21 years old.

“Future. What it brings,” Jackson replied. “Does it bring us two starters and draft pick or something that’s even beyond that? (That’s) something we have to look at as far as going down the road. We know what he is. He’s a unicorn, and he’s special.”

“I don’t think I’ve ever had a player over 25 years of coaching, maybe 30, not come into an exit meeting,” Jackson said. “So it’s not happened to me. I know it happens to other people and other players. And his brother and his agent have downplayed it. But still it’s a chance for a person to express themselves, and I had a real good relationship with Kristaps over the last two years.”

At face value, this is fine. Jackson runs the Knicks. He isn’t Porzingis’ agent.

There’d be nothing wrong with trading Porzingis for a king’s ransom. (Two starters and a draft pick is vague. There are trades that return two starters and a draft pick and be worth it. There are also trades that return two starters and a draft pick that would be awful for New York.)

But the tone is troubling. Jackson sounds overly concerned about Porzingis skipping his exit meeting. That doesn’t change the fact that Porzingis is a 21-year-old rising star under team control for several more years. He’s incredibly valuable and shouldn’t be traded willy-nilly – like for just a draft pick that becomes Josh Jackson.

The Vertical:

If that were all it took to get Porzingis, a deal would already be done. At least one team picking that high, probably at least three (Lakers at No. 2, Celtics at No. 3 and Suns at No. 4), would be jumping all over that offer.

It’ll certainly take more to get Porzingis. How much more?

That’s the open question that will determine whether Jackson merely comes across as delusion or actually is delusional.

Report: NBA not headed toward 1-16 playoff seeding

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NBA commissioner Adam Silver said the league would continue look at 1-16 playoff seeding.

Ken Berger of Bleacher Report:

Silver is well-intentioned on this issue, and open-minded, too—as he is on most agenda items that could, in theory, make the league better. But despite his willingness to discuss postseason reformatting, multiple people familiar with league discussions say it’s not anywhere near the top of the agenda.

After its analysis of the issue in ’15, the league concluded that, for a variety of reasons, it wasn’t sensible to change the playoff format. The two key factors, according to league sources, were 1) travel; and 2) a belief among league officials that conference imbalance was a temporary trend that would correct itself, as it typically has in the past.

For playoff qualification to truly be fair, teams would have to play a balanced schedule. As is, teams play teams in their own conference 52 times and teams from the other conference 30 times.

More 10 p.m. starts on the East Coast and 4 p.m. starts on the West Coast would hurt TV ratings.

Plus, as relative conference strength exists now and has existed for several years, 1-16 playoff seeding would make it harder for bigger Eastern Conference markets and easier for smaller Western Conference markets to qualify for the postseason.

Quality of competition matters, and there would be value in the NBA building a playoff field of its 16 best teams. But follow the money. There isn’t nearly enough urgency with this issue to overcome the direct financial setbacks reform would cause.

Draymond Green’s MRI comes back negative

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The Warriors can exhale. Their status as overwhelming championship favorites remains intact.

Draymond Green injured his knee in Golden State’s season-opening loss to the Rockets, but it appears he didn’t suffer major damage.

Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area:

Even if Green misses a little time, the Warriors should be fine. They can cruise until playoffs – maybe even a round or two into the playoffs.

Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry are Golden State’s best players, but Green’s defense is so important, especially in small-ball lineups with him at center. The Warriors led Houston by 13 when Green left the game and then couldn’t get enough fourth-quarter stops in a one-point loss.

Golden State values rest and built a supporting cast around its stars to follow through. If Green misses tomorrow’s game against the Pelicans or any beyond, Jordan Bell, David West, Kevon Looney and Omri Casspi could all see bigger roles.

Report: Grizzlies starting power forward JaMychal Green out several weeks

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The Grizzlies are undefeated, having topped another playoff hopeful (Pelicans) in their season-opener.

But things seem tenuous in Memphis.

Not only is Chandler Parsons feuding with Grizzlies fans, JaMychal Green is hurt.

Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:

The supporting cast looks rickety around Mike Conley and Marc Gasol unless second-rounder Dillon Brooks (19 points on 7-of-13 shooting +17 against New Orleans) keeps humming. And maybe even still then.

Green’s injury opens the door for bigger roles for Jarell Martin and maybe Parsons (gulp).

At least Green locked in his guaranteed money. This shows why he couldn’t afford to risk taking the qualifying offer.

Booed by Grizzlies fans, Chandler Parsons says he’ll treat home games like road games

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Chandler Parsons‘ great sin? Signing a four-year, $94 million contract and failing to justify it due to injuries. He missed 48 games last season and struggled mightily while on the court.

His more recent transgression? Missing a couple free throws.

The Grizzlies forward missed a pair from the line in yesterday’s season-opening win over the Pelicans, and Memphis fans booed him:

Later, Parsons drew a three-shot foul, and Marc Gasol tried to rally the crowd behind Parsons:

Plenty of fans cheered, but as Parsons went 1-for-3, others still booed.

Parsons, via Geoff Calkins of The Commercial Appeal:

“I’ll just go into every game with the mentality that it’s a road game, if that’s how it’s going to be,” he said.

Finally, Parsons stuck up for himself, saying, “They can boo me, they can sarcastically cheer me, they can do whatever they want. … It’s tasteless , man, it makes no sense. We’re athletes, we’re human beings. I don’t know them personally, so, it’s just a little strange to me, but that’s sports.”

If Parsons didn’t understand Mavericks fans booing him after he left Dallas, he sure isn’t going to understand Grizzlies fans booing him while he’s still in Memphis.

Fans largely see Parsons as a character in the drama that is the Grizzlies – something removed from their everyday reality. Of course, Parsons is taking it personally. He’s a person, and it’s his everyday reality.

It’s unclear what portion of Memphis fans booed him. Grizzlies fans probably aren’t excited about cheering him right now, but many did – as a direct response to the boos. Even if they would’ve preferred no reaction a vacuum, those cheering fans didn’t want the boo birds speaking for them.

Parsons ought to remember those supportive fans before painting the entire home crowd as the enemy, or else he’ll turn everyone against him. None of this is fair to Parsons, who has surely been frustrated with his injuries, but he can control how he reacts to the fans.