With NBA Draft approaching rapidly and free agency not far behind it, the rumors surrounding a number of NBA stars are running wild. One of the more unexpected players who could potentially be moved is New York Knicks young star Kristaps Porzingis.
Due to the ongoing issues in the Knicks front office, Porzingis skipped his exit meeting at the end of the season. Because of that Knicks president Phil Jackson has begun taking calls on a potential Porzingis deal, including conversations with the Los Angeles Lakers.
According to ESPN’s Ian Begley, the Knicks have been in contact with every team in the top-5 of Thursday’s NBA Draft, but their asking price is a hefty one:
Sources told ESPN on Tuesday that the Knicks had talks with each team positioned in the top five in the lottery trying to acquire both its pick and a young player with star potential for Porzingis
For the Lakers, this would mean sacrificing both the no. 2 pick in the draft, presumed to be UCLA guard Lonzo Ball, as well as Brandon Ingram. Considering Magic Johnson has been on record about Ingram being untouchable, the deal seems unlikely on the Lakers end, though things can always change.
Of course, if the Knicks viewed Julius Randle as a potential star, especially with his amazing weight loss this offseason, that could also be a deal they would consider. In all likelihood however, they asked for Ingram as he is the biggest potential star on the Lakers, and with good reason.
Porzingis is viewed around the league as a ‘unicorn’ player, meaning he is the rare player who can dominate offensively both inside and outside while also being a major defensive presence.
At 7’3, Porzingis averaged 18.1 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 2.0 blocks per game while hitting 35.7 percent from three-point range. All this while arguably being the third option for the Knicks behind Carmelo Anthony and Derrick Rose.
The Lakers dealing for Porzingis is unlikely, but the fact that he is even available is a surprise. If he is to change teams someone will be getting one of the league’s best young players.