When Phil Jackson was hired by New York Knicks owner, James Dolan, as president of basketball operations in March of 2014 he was supposed to return the franchise to its former glory. After all, he has 11 championship rings to his name during his years as head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers and Chicago Bulls. His role with the Knicks was his first as a sole leader of making important basketball decisions. So far, Jackson has not delivered what many New York fans had hoped for.
This past season he and star player Carmelo Anthony clashed frequently. Jackson spoke about Anthony’s unwillingness to pass the ball and even had him on the trading block during the season. Perhaps, Jackson’s most impressive decision as president of basketball operations is drafting Kristaps Porzingis. Unfortunately, Porzingis’ time in New York is becoming uncertain as Jackson might be willing to trade him, according to Ian Begely of ESPN.
Phil Jackson on Kristaps: "As much as we love this guy, we have to do what's best for the club."
— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) June 22, 2017
Trading Porzingis would unravel the franchise that has not enjoyed much success over the last two decades. He has turned himself into an All-Star caliber player in his brief career with the Knicks. After a stellar rookie campaign, he improved his during his sophomore season and averaged 18.1 points, 7.2 rebounds, and two blocks per game.
The idea of trading Porzingis mostly comes on the heels of him being frustrated with the team and skipping his exit interview at season’s end. The Knicks have reportedly been in contact with every team in the top-5 of this year’s draft regarding a possible trade, but nothing has happened as of yet.
The thought of trading of what many consider a franchise player is concerning for the Knicks. With Anthony’s playing days in New York likely coming to a close, the team is going to need a player to be built around for future success and that player was supposed to be Porzingis. If New York trades both Anthony and Porzingis it could set back the franchise drastically and further delay their path to contention for years to come.