A new batch of NBA trade rumors has popped up with regards to New York Knicks big man Kristaps Porzingis. As a recent report came out that multiple teams had inquired with New York about Porzingis, it’s now leading to the speculation that he could be dealt. Four teams were recently spotlighted by one report as possibilities for Porzingis including the Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Clippers, and the Los Angeles Lakers. Would the latter of these teams be willing to trade one of their stars to pick up Kristaps Porzingis?
This past Friday, the ESPN website reported that several teams had contacted the Knicks about Porzingis. The interest came right after the 7-foot-3 forward had skipped out on exit meetings with New York Knicks team president Phil Jackson. The reports were that Porzingis was frustrated with the direction his current team was headed. He’ll be entering the third season for a four-year rookie contract and that means the Knicks would look for a lot of value in return for him. Will Magic Johnson and the Lakers front office be able to snag Porzingis? Will they even want him in Los Angeles?
As Sportsrageous mentions in their recent article, the fact that the L.A. Lakers have a shot at a top three pick could help convince them to make this trade. By securing either Washington’s Markelle Fultz or UCLA’s Lonzo Ball, the Lakers would get their star point guard of the future. That would allow them to give up their current star D’Angelo Russell in order to bring Kristaps Porzingis to the Lakers. By bringing Russell to the Big Apple, the Knicks would be able to replace Derrick Rose or use him as their backup. Russell’s 15.6 points, 4.8 assists, and 1.4 steals would certainly be a nice addition to the team.
The New York Knicks finished out their latest NBA season with a disappointing 31-51 record. The team was hindered by constant Carmelo Anthony trade rumors all season long which weren’t helped by the public comments made by Knicks president Phil Jackson. It still seems Melo could be on the move, and it doesn’t seem like any player is safe in particular from Jackson’s plan to rebuild. That has seemed to include putting Porzingis on the trading block.
For the 2016-17 NBA season, Porzingis was second on the team in scoring with 18.1 points per game, second in rebounding with 7.2 boards hauled in per contest, and first in blocks as he swatted away two shots on average each game. The power forward from Latvia sat out of the final five games of the season with a sore back as the Knicks continued to fall in terms of their record. Carmelo Anthony, Derrick Rose, and Joakim Noah were also key roster members who sat out final games of the dismal season.
The Lakers were also one of the basement dwellers of the league, despite having some young talented players like Julius Randle, Brandon Ingram, and D’Angelo Russell. However, with new management in place, Magic Johnson will try to bring that winning culture back to his team as quickly as possible. Whether or not Porzingis is the answer is another question, because other trade rumors have suggested veterans like Paul George or Jimmy Butler are the types of star players Los Angeles really needs.
In an interesting sidenote, Porzingis also made headlines recently for actually tweeting about Los Angeles, but not the Lakers. A report from NY Daily News this weekend indicated that a tweet on Porzingis’ account was sent out this weekend saying “L.A. Clippers” with three smiley face emojis after it. That tweet was deleted soon after and the Latvian big man claimed he’d been hacked. He even went so far as to post a screenshot of his “regularly used” emojis to show that the smiley faces on that other tweet weren’t ones he uses often.
I was hacked last night and a post was made from my account. I have alerted twitter and they are looking into the incident.
— Kristaps Porzingis (@kporzee) May 7, 2017
However, the tweet certainly got people’s attention. Porzingis is one of the future talents of the league and could be the cornerstone of the New York Knicks franchise. It’s highly unlikely the Knicks will part ways with both Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis. If one had to speculate at this point, Melo seems the more likely to head to a new destination. Since he’s still young, Porzingis has time to keep improving, maturing, and learning to win. The Knicks will probably be picking up more young talent to complement him through this June’s draft.
While the Lakers might love to have Porzingis as part of their squad, it doesn’t seem in the books for them with what they’re trying to achieve. A team like the Clippers actually makes more sense, as they’re already in the playoff hunt and bringing in Porzingis could be the answer for the problems with their current system. However, that particular Los Angeles just doesn’t have the trade assets at this time to swing a deal for the Knicks’ future star.
Basketball fans, do you feel that a D’Angelo Russell for Kristaps Porzingis NBA trade would even make sense? Which side would win if that trade ever happened?
[Featured Image by Gene Sweeney Jr./Getty Images]