After the New York Knicks traded Carmelo Anthony prior to the 2017-18 NBA season, Kristaps Porzingis has shown he is capable of being the team’s franchise player. Through eight games, he is averaging 29.0 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks in 32.9 minutes.
In just Porzingis’ third season, Houston Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni had the ultimate compliment for him according to Barbara Barker of Newsday:
“I think he’s unbelievable. I really do,” D’Antoni said. “He is really good. I told [Qi], ‘Go get your tapes on him, that’s who you need to be right there.’ He shoots threes, runs the floor, long, thin. Everything, that guy’s got it.”
While the Rockets held him to his second-lowest scoring output to begin the 2017-18 NBA season, D’Antoni believes he will be a superstar for the next 10 years:
“He’s going to be a scoring machine,” D’Antoni said. “There’s no way you can stop him because of his length and skills. But you just try and . . . I don’t know what you do. He’s going to be a superstar the next 10 years, for sure.”
Although it did not go well under former President Phil Jackson, selecting Porzingis in the 2015 NBA Draft over well-known college players was easily his best move. While there were concerns at the time, he has established himself as one of the league’s rising stars.
With the Knicks finally rebuilding around Porzingis, there should be great optimism in New York. While it will take time, they have a young player who should be able to attract free agents in the biggest sports market.