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#pounditFriday, January 22, 2021

Report: Knicks afraid of Kristaps Porzingis rebelling, hurting team’s image

Kristaps Porzingis

Phil Jackson’s willingness to trade Kristaps Porzingis seemingly has little to do with the former first-round pick’s game and everything to do with his attitude toward the team.

Porzingis skipped his exit meeting with the New York Knicks after the season, and his brother and agent Janis Porzingis recently said Kristaps does not want to be traded “despite how the Knicks are treating their players.” According to Marc Berman of the New York Post, remarks like that are why Jackson is trying to determine if dealing Porzingis is the only option.

A source told Berman that Jackson could still look to trade Porzingis in the coming months if the relationship between the 21-year-old and the team shows no signs of improvement. Jackson reportedly viewed Porzingis’ decision to skip his exit interview as an “act of insubordination” and is concerned about eventually signing the 7-foot-3 forward to an extension if there isn’t a level of mutual respect.

More from the Post:

Jackson and Porzingis will both be free agents in the summer of 2019. Porzingis is a restricted free agent and the Knicks can match any offer. Jackson, or his potential successor, current general manager Steve Mills, would be reluctant to bring Porzingis back if he’s an unhappy Knick.

The worry is this: Porzingis blowing off his exit meeting, then publicizing it to the media 2 ½ months before free agency as a protest to the Knicks’ chaos, could lead to future acts of rebellion that would hurt the franchise’s image to other players.

You can understand the concern, especially with the recent report we heard about how free agents currently view the Knicks. Although, Porzingis has been one of very few bright spots on the court over the past two seasons, so losing him would probably make things worse in a sense.

Porzingis grumbled about the triangle offense a bit during the season, and his social media activity indicated he does not approve of the way Jackson has treated Carmelo Anthony. It’s obvious there is trouble in paradise.

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