Hornets’ Willy Hernangomez says Knicks wasn’t treating former teammate Kristaps Porzingis in the best way
The nature of Kristaps Porzingis’ shocking trade to the Dallas Mavericks evolved was the cause of shock for many New York Knicks fans who awaited his return from a season-ending ACL injury. The rest of the NBA didn’t fall behind in surprise, even former teammate, Willy Hernangomez of the Charlotte Hornets, who played a season-and-a-half with the unicorn before getting dealt.
“Yeah. Sometimes you can understand the plans change a little bit. I think KP wasn’t happy that they weren’t treating him the best way, the way he really deserves,” Hernangomez told Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News. “I just think when you don’t think you’re a part of the organization or the future, you keep going. This is basketball. I think KP felt that way too. I think now he’s in a great place in Dallas to keep developing.”
Like Hernangomez, Porzingis has the natural link to the Spanish League, making the two close friends from the get-go.
It’s been known the Knicks declined to offer Porzingis a contract extension, rather choosing to test the waters in free agency — yet Hernangomez’ comments hint at more than what they let on, given his close-knit relationship with the 7-foot-3 forward.
Porzingis is now recovering in Dallas, with no rush to return to the court and likely to sit out the entire season to strengthen his joints and potentially come back for a 2019-20 season alongside new partner Luka Doncic.
It’s unclear how the Knicks weren’t “treating him the best way,” but it’s likely Hernangomez knows at least a few of the ways his former partner was inclined to leave the franchise.