Jun. 27, 2017
Celtics showing interest in trading for Knicks star Kristaps Porziņģis
Photo Credit- Sports Illustrated
After trading away the 1st pick of the draft yesterday to the 76ers, the Celtics now have a lot of options going forward. Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge has elected to move down to the 3rd pick and acquire a future first-round pick, passing up the chance to draft Washington guard Markelle Fultz. With all the assets Ainge has under his belt, it may be possible that the Celtics can pull off a blockbuster move and bring in a player that can impact the team now. Everyone lately has been talking about bringing Jimmy Butler or Paul George into town. But the best fit may currently be over at Madison Square Garden in the Big Apple.
According to the New York Daily News, the C's are interested in trading for Knicks star Kristaps Porziņģis. Knicks President Phil Jackson has reportedly been weighing the possibility of trading the 7'3" big man, and already may be looking into his potential replacement. Adrian Wojnarowski of the Vertical reported that Jackson had dinner with Arizona forward Lauri Markkanen, who's a 7-foot jump shooting forward.
The Knicks drafted Porziņģis out of the Latvian Basketball league with the fourth overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft. The 21-year old is supposed to be the franchise player the Knicks, a guy who is a complete force down low. But the relationship between Porziņģis and the Knicks have gone south after a brutal season. Although Porziņģis' brother told ESPN that Porziņģis wants to remain with the Knicks, the relationship between Jackson and his players has been strained as of late. At the end of the season, Porziņģis bailed on his exit meeting with Jackson and both sides have not been talking. The Knicks also did not renew assistant coach Josh Longstaff, who has trained with Porziņģis and has a strong relationship with.
The C's have the assets to pull it off, the question is should they throw it all on the line for Porziņģis? It will most likely take a Kings ransom to land him, including their picks this year and even players like Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart. I wouldn't be surprised if the Knicks asked for Isaiah Thomas to even be included in the deal. I wanted the C's to take the 3rd pick this year and keep building up through the draft. But I also would like to see the Celtics go after a player who could make them a championship contender now. Porziņģis and even Anthony Davis could be those established players who could do that. Trading for Porziņģis would be a franchise altering move, and teaming him up with Al Horford would have potential to be a dominating tandem, especially for a team that had trouble all year rebounding. The question now is if Danny Ainge is willing to throw all his cards on the table and pull the trigger on the potential blockbuster deal, or if he has another move up his sleeve.