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Executives, scouts question whether Knicks’ Kristaps Porzingis is physically capable of carrying the load of a franchise cornerstone

Kristaps Porzingis, Knicks

The New York Knicks have emerged as a surprise player in the race to land Anthony Davis. And part of the cache of bargaining chips held by the team includes their 2019 first round pick — which is likely to be very close to the top of the draft — and big man Kristaps Porzingis.

Out since last February as he rehabs his ACL, Kristaps Porzingis’ trade value is tough to gauge. He has been seen by New York as the foundation of their future, but those feelings may not be universal.

Multiple scouts and executives around the league apparently lack confidence in Porzingis’ physical capabilities and feel he may not be capable of “carrying the load of a franchise cornerstone,” according to Ric Bucher of Bleacher Report.

“One scout even derisively compared him to Davis as a big man loaded with talent and potential but unable to stay healthy. “Done nothing and anointed a star,” the scout said.

Kristaps is undeniably one of the most unique players in the league and has a ton of potential, but his resume so far isn’t as promising as many felt it would have been by now,” writes Bucher.

In three seasons with the Knicks, he has yet to play a full 82 games, playing only 48 last season and 66 in 2016-17. There were health concerns surrounding Porzingis prior to the ACL tear, but the latest injury only amplifies those previous feelings.

As a big man, especially one as particularly tall and long as Porzingis, an ACL tear is frightening. He runs the risk of not being the same player upon returning, or even remaining at a higher risk for re-injury.

The report by Bucher also detailed Kristap’s history of frustrations with the franchise, most being rooted in his relationship with former Knicks executive Phil Jackson.

With expectations to be players in the trade market for Davis and in the upcoming free agency, how the team feels about Porzingis moving forward will have a significant impact on the franchise’s decisions in the near future.