Kristaps Porzingis

Celtics Rumors: Tatum, Jackson, Porzingis, Brown

Following the completion of the Celtics’ trade with the Sixers earlier this week, C’s president Danny Ainge suggested that the player the team drafted at No. 3 would likely be the same player the club would’ve taken at No. 1. Ainge reiterated that point on Thursday night, telling reporters that he felt the draft was “very even” at the top, and would’ve selected Jayson Tatum with the first overall pick (Twitter link).

Josh Jackson was the other prospect considered to be in play for that No. 3 pick, and Ainge admitted that he was upset when the former Kansas forward cancelled his workout with the Celtics. As Chris Forsberg of ESPN.com details, Ainge, Brad Stevens, and Mike Zarren flew out to Sacramento, only to find out that Jackson wouldn’t be working out. Ainge indicated that there may have been something to the idea that Jackson didn’t want to be drafted by Boston.

“Agents and players have all sorts of motivations to get to certain places, as we’ve seen in the past,” Ainge said, per Forsberg. “Remember last year, Kris Dunn didn’t want to come here; we didn’t hold it against him. We felt like we were just taking the player that we wanted [last year]. And I think the same thing this time. I don’t think we were trying to penalize Josh too much, but we didn’t get to see him or talk to him face-to-face.”

Here’s more on the Celtics:

  • Asked about the Kristaps Porzingis rumors that swirled around the Celtics this week, Ainge said that he felt they were “a little blown out of proportion” (Twitter link via Forsberg).
  • Ainge suggested there could be “some truth” to the idea that teams ask for more from the Celtics in trades due to the team’s stockpile of assets (link via Scott Souza of The MetroWest Daily News). People around the league know the things that we have and they are asking for some of our prime real estate,” Ainge said. “Over the last few trading periods it’s been a little bit of a hurdle. But the bottom line is we have to do the trades that we believe in.”
  • One player Ainge generally isn’t interested in discussing in trade talks is Jaylen Brown. The team president said on CSNNE that Boston gets the urge to “hang up” when Brown’s name comes up in negotiations (Twitter link via Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe).
  • It’s possible that neither of the Celtics’ draft-and-stash prospects will be on the team’s Summer League roster. Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe tweets that Guerschon Yabusele won’t play due to foot surgery, while Ainge said that Ante Zizic has visa issues, raising doubts about his status (Twitter link via Jay King of MassLive.com).

Trade Rumors: Noah, Josh Jackson, Bledsoe, Mudiay

The Knicks would like to unload Joakim Noah‘s salary in any deal involving Kristaps Porzingis, according to a post by Ian Begley on ESPN Now. Noah was considered a major disappointment in his first year in New York after signing a four-year, $72MM deal last summer. Injuries and a suspension for violating the NBA drug policy limited him to 46 games, and he averaged just 5.0 points and 8.7 rebounds per night. Noah still has three years and $55MM left on his contract.

There’s more from a day filled with trade rumors:

  • Several teams are trying to convince the Suns to trade Josh Jackson, but Phoenix plans to keep the pick, tweets Jake Fischer of Sports Illustrated. The Kansas forward was projected as a top three selection, but slipped to fourth behind Markelle Fultz, Lonzo Ball and Jayson Tatum. Phoenix, which is loaded with backcourt players, can use the help at forward.
  • The Suns aren’t likely to trade Eric Bledsoe today, tweets John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 in Phoenix. The team reportedly had discussions with Denver earlier today on a possible deal. Bledsoe, 27, will make $29.5MM over the next two seasons.
  • The Nuggets called several teams to gauge interest in Emmanuel Mudiay, according to Marc Berman of The New York Post (Twitter link), who notes that New York has passed on Mudiay before.

Latest On Kristaps Porzingis

3:23pm: The Celtics and Knicks aren’t engaged in ongoing talks about a Porzingis deal, tweets Dave McMenamin of ESPN.com, who says the teams exchanged offers this morning and haven’t been back in contact. Sources familiar with the negotiations are calling Jackson’s demands “ridiculous,” McMenamin posted on ESPN Now. He adds that the Celtics are now expected to keep the No. 3 pick and not try to trade down.

2:25pm: The Celtics are making a strong pitch for Kristaps Porzingis and are trying to assemble a package that the Knicks will accept, tweets Marc Stein of ESPN.com. Boston has offered the No. 3 selection, an unidentified player and an additional lottery pick that the Celtics are confident they can trade for tonight, according to Ian Begley of ESPN.com (Twitter link). However, ESPN’s Jeff Goodman posts on ESPN Now that the sides are not close to a deal.

There’s more today on the Porzingis front:

  • Knicks president Phil Jackson wants the Celtics to give up tonight’s No. 3 pick, next year’s unprotected Nets pick, Jaylen Brown and Jae Crowder, relays Frank Isola of The New York Daily News. Boston believes that’s too much to ask, but is willing to do the deal if it involves just one of the draft picks, according to Isola. New York wants Kansas forward Josh Jackson, who is expected to still be on the board at No. 3. Phil Jackson is also a fan of Crowder and regrets not picking him up from Dallas in the Tyson Chandler deal three years ago. Brown, the third overall selection in 2016, has a close relationship with former Knicks president Isaiah Thomas.
  • Jackson’s demand was confirmed to Mark Murphy of The Boston Herald (Twitter link) by another source, who added, “[Phil Jackson] is just messing with things.
  • Ramona Shelburne posts on ESPN Now that Jackson won’t settle for anything less than his demand. “He’s dug in,” a Knicks source told her. “If he doesn’t get exactly what he wants, there will be no [Porzingis] trade.”
  • The Celtics aren’t the only team trying to pry Porzingis away from New York, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical.
  • One of those teams is the Suns, who have talked to the Knicks about a trade involving the No. 4 pick. TNT’s David Aldridge says the teams aren’t close to a deal, although that could always change (Twitter link).

Trade Rumors: Jackson, George, Porzingis, Kanter

Numerous teams are trying to obtain a top-4 pick in order to select Kansas swingman Josh Jackson, Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical tweets. With the Sixers having obtained the top overall pick to select Markelle Fultz, that means a blockbuster deal involving the Lakers, Celtics or Suns could be on the horizon. It also strongly suggests that the Celtics have settled on Duke forward Jayson Tatum as their preferred choice, since Jackson wouldn’t be available at No. 4 if Boston wants him.

Here are some of other trade rumors floating around as the draft approaches:

  • There is a growing sense that unless the Pacers get a suitable offer for Paul George today, President of Basketball Operations Kevin Pritchard will wait until next month to re-engage talks regarding the 2018 free agent, according to Basketball Insiders’ Steve Kyler. However, the latest projected salary cap of $99MM could motivate Indiana and the Lakers to get a deal done today, as Kyler details. The Spurs and Blazers are also making a run at George, Kyler adds in another tweet.
  • The Knicks believe Kristaps Porzingis would have been the top selection in today’s draft and next year’s draft and desire a package of picks that reflect his value, David Aldridge of NBA.com tweets. Team President Phil Jackson confirmed Wednesday he is listening to offers for the disgruntled big man. Talks between the Knicks and Suns have not gained any traction because Phoenix is unwilling to part with shooting guard Devin Booker, Wojnarowski tweets.
  • The Thunder could deal center Enes Kanter as early as today, Jenni Carlson of The Oklahoman speculates. The team has enough big men to take over his minutes, though Kanter is the most offensively-gifted frontcourt player they have, Carlson continues. It makes sense to obtain more shooters and veterans to help out Russell Westbrook, which makes Kanter expendable, Carlson adds. Kanter will make approximately $17.9MM next season and holds an $18.6MM player option on the final year of his contract next summer.

Knicks Rumors: Porzingis, Carmelo, Z. Collins

Players and agents around the NBA have taken notice of the way the Knicks have treated their star players under Phil Jackson, writes Sean Deveney of The Sporting News. While the appeal of playing in New York has been on the decline somewhat in recent years thanks to the team’s poor performance, this year’s Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis situations have made the club even more toxic.

“There are 30 teams, and you don’t want to write off anybody, because there’s only so many rotation spots around the league,” one agent tells Deveney. “But of course you’d have to be worried about sending a guy to New York with this front office, especially an upper-level guy. Because he might be doing what he can to help and you might have the team president there ripping him in the media like it’s his fault or putting him in trade rumors. … No one wants that. You have to be concerned about that.”

Deveney’s piece was published early in the day on Wednesday, before Phil Jackson confirmed publicly in an interview on MSG that he’s listening to inquiries on Porzingis.

Here’s more out of New York:

  • According to Frank Isola of The New York Daily News, multiple people familiar with the Knicks’ thinking believe that the Porzingis drama is a result of members of the front office scrambling to save face and protect their jobs.The front office is in full survivor mode,” a team source tells Isola. “The place is a mess, so now they want to make it seem like the kid is the problem. Suddenly he’s uncoachable. He won’t listen. They’re trying to put it all on him.”
  • For his part, Porzingis has his own thoughts and opinions on the Knicks and the triangle, as Marc Berman of The New York Post details. Wednesday’s other Porzingis rumors can be found right here.
  • Jackson’s MSG interview also included a segment on Carmelo Anthony, with the Knicks president suggesting that he still thinks Anthony would be better off elsewhere, though he acknowledged that Carmelo may prefer to stay in New York. As Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News writes, Jackson hasn’t given up hope on a trade, but Anthony does have a no-trade clause that he can use if he wants to.
  • The Knicks had dinner with Gonzaga big man Zach Collins on Tuesday night, league sources tell Ian Begley of ESPN.com. Collins is viewed as a potential top-10 pick, though it would be a surprise if he lands with New York, considering the team’s apparent preference for a guard or wing. Jackson indicated today, in fact, that there’s a “good chance” the Knicks will use their No. 8 pick on a guard (Twitter link via Tommy Beer of Basketball Insiders).

Pacific Rumors: Chriss, Bender, Clips, Bogdanovic

The Suns have been one of the teams to engage the Knicks in talks regarding a possible Kristaps Porzingis trade, as we heard earlier tonight. Although a Tuesday report indicated Phoenix balked at New York’s initial asking price of Devin Booker and the No. 4 pick, the two sides appear to have continued discussions.

According to Ian Begley of ESPN.com, some iterations of potential trades involving Porzingis in recent discussions between the Suns and Knicks have involved Marquese Chriss and Dragan Bender. The two bigs were Phoenix’s lottery picks from 2016, and are among the best trade chips the club has to offer if Booker is off the table.

Here’s more from around the Pacific division:

  • The Clippers have been calling teams that have picks in the middle of the second round in an effort to get back into the draft, according to NBA executive who spoke to Brad Turner of The Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles has $3.27MM left to spend in the 2016/17 league year if the club wants to buy a pick.
  • Bill Oram of The Orange County Register has more details on the Clippers‘ plan to be active on draft night, despite the fact that the team doesn’t currently hold any picks.
  • Kings draft-and-stash prospect Bogdan Bogdanovic is leaning toward making the leap to the NBA for the 2017/18 season, but has not yet informed Fenerbahce – his team in Turkey – what his plans are, sources tell Emiliano Carchia of Sportando.

Latest On Kristaps Porzingis, Knicks

10:19pm: The Knicks have talked with each team in the top five of Thursday’s draft about Porzingis, in an effort to extract a pick and a young potential star, sources tell Ian Begley and Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.com. According to the ESPN report, the Knicks have had “substantive” talks with two teams, plus the Suns.

Sources tell ESPN that the Knicks have also spoken Oklahoma City about a possible Porzingis trade, but one source says the Thunder “don’t have enough” to be a viable trade partner.

8:40pm: Asked about what it would take to trade Porzingis, Jackson suggested the Knicks may be seeking two starters and a draft pick (Twitter link via Al Iannazzone of Newsday).

8:27pm: In an interview tonight on MSG, team president Phil Jackson confirmed that the Knicks are listening to calls on Porzingis. “As much as we love this guy, we have to do what’s best for the club,” Jackson said of the big man (Twitter links via Ian Begley of ESPN.com).

Jackson also suggested that he was somewhat bothered by Porzingis skipping his exit meeting. Still, he cautioned that the Knicks aren’t yet “intrigued” enough by what’s out there to make a move (Twitter links via Tommy Beer of Basketball Insiders).

8:15pm: After a flurry of Kristaps Porzingis trade rumors surfaced on Tuesday, a follow-up report suggested that the trade talk was somewhat overblown, and that the Knicks were simply listening to calls rather than actively shopping the big man.

However, on The Vertical’s Facebook Live show on Wednesday, Adrian Wojnarowski said that the Knicks aren’t simply listening to inquiries, reporting that they’ve also been making outgoing calls about Porzingis. While Wojnarwoski acknowledges that New York’s asking price is high, and that a deal won’t necessarily happen, he notes that the Knicks appeared to be legitimately exploring the possibility, and haven’t told Porzingis he’s not going anywhere.

Here’s more on Porzingis:

  • According to Wojnarowski, the Knicks would be seeking a top-four draft pick and a starting guard in exchange for Porzingis. Marc Berman of The New York Post (Twitter link) reports something similar, having heard that New York would want a top-four pick plus a “strong” asset for Porzingis.
  • We heard on Tuesday that the Knicks asked the Suns for Devin Booker and the No. 4 selection, so that sounds like the sort of package Wojnarowski and Berman are talking about. Besides Phoenix, the Celtics would seem to be the most logical trade partner for the Knicks.
  • If they were able to land a top-four pick in a deal for Porzingis, the Knicks would likely aim to draft Josh Jackson, says Wojnarowski.
  • Ian Begley of ESPN.com (Twitter link) follows up on an item he reported on Tuesday, clarifying that members of the Knicks organization have been in touch with Porzingis since the end of the season, though that contact has been “very minimal.”

Latest On Kristaps Porzingis

It has been another eventful day in the NBA, as a new name has entered the rumor mill as a possible trade candidate: Kristaps Porzingis. Reports have suggested there is a “frenzy of interest” in Porzingis, and the Knicks haven’t shot down potential suitors, though their asking price is said to be very high. The Celtics are reportedly among the teams with interest.

As we wait to see how serious the Knicks are about moving Porzingis, here are a few more noteworthy updates on his possible availability:

4:48pm:

  • A plugged-in source who spoke to Howard Beck of Bleacher Report (Twitter link) says to “disregard” the Porzingis buzz, telling Beck that the Knicks are taking calls but aren’t shopping the Latvian.

3:42pm:

2:38pm:

  • According to John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 in Phoenix (Twitter link), the Knicks asked the Suns for the No. 4 pick and Devin Booker in exchange for Porzingis. Gambadoro is as plugged in as anyone on Suns news, and asking for Booker makes sense for a team seeking a “front-line guard,” which we heard earlier. So this is perhaps an indication of New York’s asking price for Porzingis.
  • One general manager tells Sean Deveney of The Sporting News (Twitter link) that the Porzingis rumor feels more like a “message” than something the Knicks are seriously considering. Deveney doesn’t speculate about the specifics of that message, but presumably it’s one aimed at Porzingis’ camp.
  • League sources tell Jordan Schultz of The Huffington Post (Twitter link) that Phil Jackson would like to dump Joakim Noah‘s contract in a Porzingis deal, though it’s not clear if that’s a deal-breaker. While getting Noah off the cap would certainly be huge for the Knicks, attaching him to Porzingis would risk significantly reducing the latter’s trade value.

Phil Jackson Not Ruling Out Kristaps Porzingis Trade

12:38pm: There’s growing skepticism among some executives who have been in touch with the Knicks about whether the club is serious about moving Porzingis, according to Chris Mannix of The Vertical. Mannix tweets that New York’s asking price is “extremely high.”

[RELATED: Celtics interested in Kristaps Porzingis]

11:01am: Within his full report on Porzingis, Wojnarowski writes that the big man “remains determined” to stick with the Knicks and help turn the team around. However, Jackson has become “increasingly intrigued” by the possibility of testing the market for Porzingis. If the Knicks get serious about engaging teams and pursuing a deal, they’d want to acquire a front-line guard, says Wojnarowski.

Janis Porzingis, Kristaps’ brother and an employee at his agency, tells Begley that his brother wants to remain in New York “despite how the Knicks are treating their players.”

10:20am: Knicks president Phil Jackson has not ruled out the possibility of trading Kristaps Porzingis, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical, who reports (via Twitter) that a “frenzy of interest” is growing as teams become aware that Porzingis isn’t considered untouchable.

The Knicks have received several calls about Porzingis from teams in recent days, per Ian Begley of ESPN.com, who confirms (via Twitter) that New York hasn’t dismissed the possibility of a trade. Meanwhile, Wojnarowski adds (via Twitter) that Jackson recently met with stretch-four prospect Lauri Markkanen, who would receive consideration with the No. 8 pick in the draft if New York were to move Porzingis.

Porzingis, who will turn 22 in August, is coming off a second NBA season in which he averaged 18.1 PPG, 7.2 RPG, and 2.0 BPG, while making 35.7% of his three-pointers. His ability to protect the rim on defense and stretch the floor on offense makes Porzingis one of the most desirable young players in the league, so it’s no surprise that teams would be calling the Knicks if there’s a chance he’s available.

While I wouldn’t expect Jackson to move Porzingis, there have been some concerning signs on that front this year. Apparently displeased with the treatment of Carmelo Anthony and the dysfunction surrounding the team, Porzingis skipped his exit meeting with the Knicks at the end of the season. He then opted to spend his offseason in his home country of Latvia, where the Knicks have had a harder time staying in touch with him — according to Begley, no one from the team has been in contact with Porzingis since he skipped his exit meeting.

I’d still be shocked if Porzingis was on the move anytime soon, but this will obviously be a story we keep a close eye on going forward.

Celtics Interested In Kristaps Porzingis

The Knicks are being “flooded with interest” in young big man Kristaps Porzingis, and the Celtics are among the teams interested, sources tell Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News. Multiple reports this morning indicated that Phil Jackson hasn’t ruled out the possibility of moving Porzingis.

If Porzingis is truly available, no team makes more sense as a potential suitor than the Celtics, who could offer NBA rotation players, young prospects, and/or future picks. Boston has also been seeking an impact frontcourt player to pair with Al Horford, who isn’t exactly an elite rim protector. Porzingis, who is capable of protecting the rim on defense and stretching the floor on offense, would be an ideal fit for the C’s.

Still, the Knicks’ asking price for Porzingis has been “very aggressive,” according to one executive who has been in touch with the team (Twitter link via Sam Amick of USA Today). One report from earlier today suggested that the Knicks’ asking price would start with a front-line guard, though I imagine the team would want several pieces. Porzingis is still only entering the third year of his rookie contract, which makes him extremely valuable and puts no pressure on the Knicks to move him anytime soon.

Another person with knowledge of the Porzingis talks characterized the situation as one of “job preservation” for the Knicks’ front office, according to Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today (Twitter link). That’s an interesting way of putting it, since trading Porzingis and failing to extract proper value for him would likely spell the end of Jackson’s tenure in New York.

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