If you ask Knicks president Phil Jackson, though, he didn’t need hindsight.
Jackson on Porzingis, via MSG Network:
We knew that he had a lot of talent. We saw that even in the workout with him shooting. And I had some fun with one of the Buss guys, and I told him after the workout: “You guys are going to be sorry if you don’t pick up Porzingis with the second pick.” They didn’t, we did.
It’s not clear which “Buss guy” Jackson is referring to. Jim runs basketball operations. Jesse is an assistant general manager in charge of scouting. Joey is in charge of the D-League team. Sean is a scout. Johnny is a vice president for corporate development. And of course, Jeanie is the Lakers’ governor and president, though I don’t think Jackson would call his fiancée “one of the Buss guys.”
I’m also not sure I buy this story. The first “Buss guy” that comes to mind is Jim, and he and Jackson have a history. Jackson could just be attempting to paint Jim in a negative light.
But let’s say Jackson was ahead of the curve and certain the Lakers should draft Porzingis. Why tell them? Why not hope Porzingis falls to No. 4 for yourself (which is what happened)? If you want to put on your conspiracy hat, I have one idea.