The Knicks Are Playing a Dangerous Game With Kristaps Porzingis

Is Phil Jackson’s ego so fragile that he has to mess with the only good think the Knicks have going?

Phil Jackson, the New York Knicks’ president and GM de facto, is playing a dangerous game of roulette with his one and only prized asset, 21 year-old Latvian forward Kristaps Porzingis.

Jackson is entertaining the idea of trading his 7-foot-3 budding star for a package of draft picks and/or players before Thursday night’s NBA Draft.

The reason? Porzingis skipped his exit meeting with management after the season, a snub that Jackson is taking so personally that is willing to trade one of the league’s best young stars. Porzingis, mind you, is perhaps the only positive thing Jackson has brought to the team since he took over as president in 2014.

“I don’t think I’ve ever had a player over 25 years, maybe 30, not coming to a exit meeting,” Jackson told MSG’s Al Trautwig on Wednesday night. That is not true. Shaquille O’Neal reportedly skipped his exit interview when he and Jackson were with the Lakers.

The Knicks hold the eighth overall pick in the draft and are seeking at least a top-four pick, among other assets, in return for Porzingis.

“We’re getting calls,” Jackson added. “We’re listening, but we’re not intrigued yet at this level.”

It’s not likely the Knicks will pull the trigger on a deal for Porzingis, but Jackson is putting it out there for the world to see. He wants show everyone who’s boss. We get it. Just look at the standings. He may have been a great coach but he’s a novice when it comes to running a franchise from the front office.

Many believe the Knicks are simply plying the only piece of leverage they have to see if they can better their flagging franchise. They are basically stuck with Carmelo Anthony, who doesn’t appear to be ready to exercise his no-trade clause, and their roster is filled with D-League talent.

Jackson is said to be interested in Arizona forward Lauri Markkanen, a 7-foot Finnish product whose game has been compared to that of Porzingis’. If the Knicks could get that top four pick, they could select Kansas SF Josh Jackson or PG De’Aaron Fox of Kentucky and hope Markkanen falls to them at eight.

There has been a lot of speculation that Jackson also covets French product Frank Ntilikina, a 6’5″ guard who fits into his offensive system. Either way, Jackson is in the driver’s seat come Thursday night, but not for the reasons he thinks he is.

Knick fans are getting desperate and Jackson could be conducting his last draft as president. He needs pick a plan and stick with it, or owner James Dolan will have to pull the plug on this ill-conceived experiment.

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