Kristaps Porzingis was prepared to leave Knicks and rehab in Spain if not traded
The New York Knicks shocked the NBA world when they traded Kristaps Porzingis to the Dallas Mavericks last week, but when you hear the details of what was actually going on behind the scenes, the trade becomes much less surprising.
According to Marc Stein of The New York Times, Porzingis and his brother, Janis (who is also his agent), had cancelled a meeting with the Knicks earlier in January before calling for another meeting last week.
That was when Porzingis stated his desire to be traded and said that if New York did not deal him before Thursday’s deadline that he would leave for Spain and continue to rehabilitate his torn ACL there.
So, clearly, Porzingis had no intention of playing for the Knicks ever again, and with restricted free agency looming for Porzingis this summer, New York knew it had to work quickly to move him.
The 23-year-old was originally selected by the Knicks with the fourth overall pick of the 2015 NBA Draft, a choice that was instantly booed and met with contention from New York fans.
However, it did not take long for Porzingis to win over the city, as he displayed his immense talent during his rookie campaign and looked to be the Knicks’ first legitimate franchise player since the team drafted Patrick Ewing back in the 1980s.
But, like most things with the Knicks over the better part of the last two decades, the relationship between the two sides did not exactly work out, with bad blood beginning between Porzingis in the front office during his second season.
Obviously, the wounds were never healed, which led to the Latvian requesting a trade.