Report: Phil Jackson did talk Kristaps Porzingis trades around draft

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By the end of his rookie season, it was pretty obvious that the Knicks needed to move on from the Carmelo Anthony era and embrace a rebuild around Kristaps Porzingis.

Unless you are Phil Jackson. Unless your goal is to leave the Knicks as a legacy to the brilliance of the Triangle offense above all else.

After Porzingis blew off his end-of-season meeting with Jackson there was serious talk about trading him, reports Ian Begley of ESPN. However, we start this bit of an excerpt from earlier in his story about 2017 and the Knicks with the idea that most wanted to build around Porzingis.

Some members of the Knicks organization became convinced in the summer of 2015 that the club was better off trading Anthony and building around Kristaps Porzingis. A little more than 12 months later, that feeling was shared by nearly all of the Knicks’ decision-makers. “Everybody was on board to try and get rid of Carmelo,” is how one source familiar with the matter described the sentiment. “The feeling in meetings was almost unanimous…

Young star Porzingis skipped his exit meeting with Jackson and then general manager Steve Mills over what team sources described as frustration with the drama and dysfunction surrounding the franchise. Jackson and the Knicks then discussed potential trades of Porzingis with several teams in the days and weeks leading up to the NBA draft. Those conversations were painted in some corners as Jackson teaching Porzingis a lesson after the skipped exit meeting, but multiple sources familiar with the matter say that there were members of the organization in favor of trading Porzingis at the time.

It is not uncommon for different people within a front office to disagree about a course of action (to use a well-known example, there was a lot of debate among the Warriors a few years back about trading Klay Thompson for Kevin Love, but in retrospect, GM Bob Myers made the right call).

However, what was going on with the Knicks feels different. The majority of the front office was ready to move on from Anthony, and Jackson certainly had his issues with ‘Melo, but things got personal with Porzingis and almost set the franchise way, way back. If Jackson had gotten close to a Porzingis trade around the draft, would owner James Dolan have stepped in earlier than he did and make a change? Fortunately, Jackson is gone and the new management has a plan — build around KP — that is showing progress.

But somewhere in an alternate universe….