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Reports: New York Knicks open to trading Kristaps Porzingis

NBA.com Staff

For the original report on the Kristaps Porzingis trade talks, click here

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UPDATE: 1:38 p.m.: The New York Knicks are, understandably, seeking much in return if they do end up dealing Kristaps Porzingis, writes Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today:

New York Knicks center Kristaps Porzingis is being discussed in trades, two people with knowledge of the situation confirmed to USA TODAY Sports’ Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt.

Both people requested anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the discussions.

One executive described the Knicks’ asking price as “very aggressive” in shopping Porzingis, who’s about to enter his third year in the league. Porzingis averaged 18.1 points and 7.2 rebounds last season for the underachieving Knicks.

Another person with knowledge of a potential Porzingis trade characterized the situation as job preservation for the front office, which is struggling to make the Knicks a playoff team. Phil Jackson has been unable to turn the team around since becoming team president in 2014.

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UPDATE, 1:04 p.m.: The Boston Celtics, who yesterday completed a trade to swap their No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 Draft for the Philadelphia 76ers’ No. 3 pick, are among the teams in the thick of the Kristaps Porzingis trade chase.

Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News has more on the trade pursuit of the New York Knicks’ young, star forward:

As Phil Jackson’s stated publicly, he’s not ruling out dealing anybody — including Kristaps Porzingis. And the Celtics, who own the third overall pick in the NBA draft, are interested.

Now that trade season is in full swing ahead of the draft, the Knicks have been flooded with interest in their star, sources confirmed. And according to a source, the Celtics are among those teams.

It has reached the point that New York is already planning for a future without the Latvian, according to The Vertical, which reported Jackson met Monday with a potential replacement in Lauri Markkanen.

Markkanen, a 7-footer from Finland, is a projected lottery draft pick who plays the same position as Porzingis. The Knicks draft eighth on Thursday.

Marc Berman from the New York Post reports on some other aspects that could be playing into Porzingis availability in trades

The Knicks hold the No. 8 overall pick in Thursday’s NBA draft, and Jackson met on Monday with prospect Lauri Markkanen, a source confirmed. Jackson views Markkanen, a sweet-shooting big man out of Arizona, as a potential replacement if the Knicks decide to trade Porzingis. Jackson repeatedly had said he is looking to draft guards or wings.

The Knicks’ relationship with Porzingis took a turn at the end of last season when the Latvian star skipped his exit interview with Jackson and GM Steve Mills. Porzingis boycotted over frustration with the Knicks’ lack of direction, according to sources.

Porzingis has still not talked to Knicks coaches or representatives of the front office since the season ended bitterly. A source told The Post the Knicks are not sending any of their assistant coaches to Latvia to work with Porzingis this offseason. The source said Porzingis has hired two physiotherapists from New York on his own dime.

According to a source, the Knicks are frustrated that Porzingis may have fallen under the spell of Carmelo Anthony, who is anti-Jackson.

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Over the past two seasons, Kristaps Porzingis has emerged as a bright spot for the New York Knicks.

In 2016-17, he averaged 18.1 points, 7.2 rebounds and two blocks as the Knicks struggled through a second straight 50-loss season. As the NBA Draft approaches and trade talks swirl, the Knicks aren’t ruling out possibly trading Porzingis.

Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical was the first to report the news, which has since also been reported by Ian Begley of ESPN.com …

Begley has further details on the Knicks interest in possibly moving Porzingis:

Porzingis skipped exit meetings with team president Phil Jackson and general manager Steve Mills in April due to frustration over the dysfunction and drama surrounding the team. No one from the organization has been in touch with Porzingis since he missed the exit meeting, per sources.

Porzingis’ brother, Janis Porzingis, who also work’s for Andy Miller, Porzingis’ primary agent, reiterated on Wednesday that Porzingis loves New York and wants to win here.

“Despite how the Knicks are treating their players, Kris wants to stay in New York,” Janis Porzingis said. “He loves the city and he loves the fans and he wants to win with this team. if he’s going to be traded , he’s going to play out his contact and decide his future on his own.”

The Knicks have the No. 8 pick in the 2017 Draft, which will be held Thursday.

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