NBA

NBA Rumors: Kristaps Porzingis to leave Knicks in free agency?!

Here’s a fear no Knicks fan is likely ready for: Kristaps Porzingis, the player any idea of a bright future at Madison Square Garden is built around, leaving the dysfunctional organization behind in free agency.

While the Knicks hold Porzingis’ rights for at least two more seasons (along with restricted free agency following the 2019-2020 season), a recent report on the state of the Knicks from ESPN’s Ian Begley painted the picture of a countdown to Porzingis’ eventual free agency.

If the Knicks move (Carmelo) Anthony, the club will build in earnest around Porzingis. The Knicks are encouraged by other young pieces on the roster such as (Willy) Hernangomez, Justin Holiday, Mindaugas Kuzminskas, Ron Baker and Chasson Randle. One potential issue is how the drama surrounding the franchise may impact some of these players.
If the dysfunction continues, no one should be surprised if Porzingis and Hernangomez leave the franchise in free agency. That, of course, would be the biggest black eye of Jackson’s presidency.

Clearly, the Knicks have some time before this becomes a major, franchise-changing issue–but the clock is ticking. Team president Phil Jackson can’t afford to whiff on an Anthony deal, 2017 lottery pick or eventual dip back into the deep end of the free-agent pool.

If the Knicks hit on the next phase of the rebuild around Porzingis (and he continues to play like a future All-Star), a max contract and long-term career in New York will likely commence.

But if the Knicks fail and put slop around the young, sharp-shooting big man, well, another hard reset could hit the Knicks franchise and fan base.

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