Phil Jackson

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).

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).

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.

Atlantic Notes: Ntilikina, Lowry, Pasecniks, Goodwin

Clarence Gaines Jr., the closest advisor to Knicks president Phil Jackson, is the latest team official to get a first-hand look at Frank Ntilikina, reports Marc Berman of The New York Post. Jackson’s preference for big guards may be enough for New York to draft Ntilikina at No. 8, although Berman notes that North Carolina State’s Dennis Smith Jr.  and Kentucky’s Malik Monk both have supporters in the front office. Ntilikina is 6’5″ with a 7-foot wingspan, a reputation for defensive intensity and a high basketball IQ. Jackson has developed a liking for European prospects after his success with Kristaps Porzingis and Willy Hernangomez. Ntilikina’s case isn’t helped by his modest numbers — 5.2 points and 1.2 assists in about 18 minutes per game in the French League — but he says he is becoming a more aggressive player.

There’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Saturday’s trade between the Sixers and Celtics removes a potential destination for Raptors free agent Kyle Lowry, writes Ryan Wolstat of The Toronto Sun. Philadelphia had been considered a threat to sign Lowry because it’s his hometown and the Sixers have considerable cap space. But with point guard Markelle Fultz headed to Philadelphia, there’s no need to spend money on Lowry.
  • The Nets may gamble on Latvian star Anzejs Pasecniks with one of their two picks late in the first round, according to Brian Lewis of The New York Post. A former teammate of Porzingis, the 7-foot-2, 226-pound center will have to develop his body to handle the NBA game. “Pasecniks is one of those guys that’d be perfect for a team with multiple [first-round] picks. Brooklyn’s got multiple picks,” said ESPN international analyst Fran Fraschilla. “Portland, and maybe even Utah may have multiple picks. He’s one of those guys that you could draft [and stash] him. Although he’s 21 and he’s anxious to get over here and start his NBA career.”
  • Brooklyn guard Archie Goodwin is a rare player with four years of experience who is volunteering for Summer League, tweets NetsDaily. Goodwin played briefly for the Pelicans and Nets this season, but spent most of the year in the D-League. He is hoping to secure a spot on the team after signing a two-year deal in April that contains several guarantee dates.

Shumpert, Smith: Carmelo Wants To Stay In New York

Trading Carmelo Anthony out of New York may not be as easy as team president Phil Jackson is hoping, writes Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News.

Iman Shumpert and J.R. Smith, two of Anthony’s friends and former teammates, believe he wants to remain with the Knicks and will use his no-trade clause to veto any deal.

“Sometimes you feel like it’s just unfinished business, and I feel like that’s what it is with Melo,” Shumpert said, referring to the Knicks’ 31-51 season. “He don’t want to leave on that note.”

Smith noted how hard Anthony worked to get to New York, forcing the Nuggets’ hands in a 2011 deal so he could be part of the league’s biggest market.

“He does want to stay in New York. He made the effort to get to New York,” Smith said. “Granted, it hasn’t gone as well as he hoped it would. But I’m sure that’s where he wants to be.”

Anthony will make more than $26.2MM next season and has an early termination option for his nearly $28MM salary in 2018/19. Jackson would like to get those figures off the Knicks’ salary cap, and contacted the Clippers, Cavaliers and Celtics before February’s deadline in an attempt to work out a trade.

Any team that does deal for Anthony would have to absorb his 15% trade kicker, which would bring his total cap hit to about $30MM.Anthony hasn’t made any public appearances since the season ended, Bondy notes, apart from a single workout session. He has also stopped posting on social media since mid-April.

While Anthony has chosen silence, Jackson has remained persistent about his desire to find a taker for his star. He began with a postseason press conference in which he stated that Anthony would be “better off somewhere else,” then repeated those sentiments to the media at the draft combine.

“I don’t think [Jackson] should’ve been so vocal about [wanting to trade Anthony],” Shumpert said. “That’s just me. I think a lot of stuff is better if everybody just assumes what’s going on and they don’t really know what’s going on. I didn’t like that it was publicized, but what am I going to do? He said some stuff about me too.

“I know it’s not going to bother Melo’s jumpshot next season. Melo is going to continue to work and get better, and continue to try to win. That’s all he can do.”

Phil Jackson Recently Met With Kristaps Porzingis’ Camp

Team president Phil Jackson recently met with Kristaps Porzingis‘ brother and the two sides discussed the the power forward’s issues with the club, Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News reports. A Knicks‘ source tells Bondy that the sit down didn’t accomplish very much as Phil Jackson remained “steadfast” in his ways.

Jackson remains focused on installing and running the triangle. He’s aimed to tailor the teams’ workouts and training sessions around the offense, sources tell Bondy.

What specifics the two sides discussed is not clear, but Porzingis’ camp has previously called for New York to “create an environment where he can develop and grow as a player and win.”

Porzingis has two years remaining on his deal and in the summer of 2019, he can become a restricted free agent. At that point, the team will be able to match any offer. If Porzingis badly wants out, the quickest route to secure a place on a new franchise without a trade is playing out the final two years of his deal, then signing a qualifying offer during the 2019 offseason. That would allow him to become an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2020.

Porzingis has said he wants to remain in New York, but with the aforementioned conditions. The team has some time to repair the relationship and build a winning team, though as we’ve seen with the Carmelo Anthony saga, ongoing Knicks’ turmoil isn’t guaranteed to get better with time.

Jackson only has two seasons remaining on his deal. I’d speculate that he’ll make it through his current agreement, but he won’t see another deal in the 2019 offseason unless Kristaps Porzingis is happy with the state of the franchise. By that time, we’ll likely have more data on the triangle offense in our current pace-and-space culture and it should be clear whether or not the system has a place in the league.

 

Knicks Notes: Draft, Lottery, Jackson, Oakley

With the NBA draft lottery a mere hours away, the Knicks organization will soon learn where it will draft next month. The Knicks stands a 5.3% chance of grabbing the first overall selection and, at worst, will pick 10th overall. The team has trained its focus on wings and guards, according to Adam Zagoria of ZagsBlog.com.

The Knicks delegation made up of Phil Jackson, GM Steve Mills, assistant GM Allan Houston, and head coach Jeff Hornacek interviewed Markelle Fultz, De’Aaron Fox, Justin Jackson, and Frank Jackson, at the combine, per Zagoria. Fox beamed about his desire to play for the Knicks in another piece Zagoria wrote for FanRagSports.com.

“I don’t know too much about the triangle,” Fox said. “Everyone says it’s hard to learn but if I go in there I’ll have to learn quickly. And Porzingis, he’s amazing, watching the NBA this year. I really paid attention to the NBA this year knowing I’m about to go into this business; I had to stop watching it as a casual fan and start thinking of it as a business aspect. He’s great and if I get to play with him, I feel like we can do something special.”

Here’s more on the Knicks:

  • Phil Jackson is furious about the coverage he and the team are getting by the New York media, but it is Jackson who must take accountability for his failures for the Knicks culture to improve, writes Frank Isola of the New York Daily News. In particular, Jackson should question the effect of his treatment of star players on the team, argues Isola. Jackson claims that NBA commissioner Adam Silver agreed that media coverage has become problematic when the pair recently met, but Isola is skeptical.
  • Jackson has tempered his expectations for the lottery and the draft, according to Marc Berman of the New York Post. Jackson knows that there are no guarantees and is approaching the draft in a holistic manner: “We don’t expect a whole lot. Even our franchise, the New York Knicks, deigned to draft guys back in the ’90s, went with all veterans, gave up a lot of their picks. There’s that feeling too. As this talent pool is narrowed, it really is important to have both draftable players, tradeable players and free agents. We want to look at all these options before we get into it.”
  • Lonzo Ball and Fultz top the list of Knicks possible targets, according to Marc Berman of the New York Post. That’s no surprise, as those are considered the top two prospects in the draft by nearly every expert.
  • Charles Oakley is still facing charges stemming from his infamous February expulsion from Madison Square Garden and says that James Dolan should have been fined or suspended, writes Ted Berg of USA Today Sports. Oakley made his comments on the For the Win podcast.

Atlantic Notes: Anthony, Sixers, Rookies

If Knicks president Phil Jackson was looking to get value out of Carmelo Anthony in a trade, his negative comments have only hurt the forward’s stock, Fred Kerber of the New York Post writes.

While Anthony posted reasonable numbers for the underachieving Knicks in 2017/18, the fact that Jackson has slammed both his personality and playing style certainly aren’t reassuring.

Phil made a statement basically that Carmelo’s a losing type of player. Well, if he’s a loser for the Knicks, he’s going to be a winner someplace else? That obviously didn’t help,” one Eastern Conference executive told Kerber.

Anthony’s famous no-trade clause already limits who the Knicks may be able to trade with, so Jackson’s mystifying approach to marketing make it even less likely that the franchise will be able to yield a reasonable return for their once-prized building block.

There’s more from the Atlantic:

  • It’s easy to be excited about the NBA draft — the Sixers have been planning for it all year. A more telling day, in terms of shaping the franchise of the organization, however, could be this Tuesday’s draft lottery. Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer lays out the various possible outcomes the team faces when the order is revealed.
  • The extra attention put toward Isaiah Thomas in the postseason has put more pressure on the Celtics‘ supporting cast, A. Sherrod Blakely of CSN New England writes. More has been asked of teammates like Jae Crowder, Blakely writes, and they’ve stepped up.
  • Don’t expect an immediate impact out of this year’s draft class — at least that’s what Knicks boss Phil Jackson implied to Lakers president Magic Johnson, Al Iannazzone of Newsday writes. “It’s just really tough,” Jackson said. “The maturation level, particularly the education the game has stepped to, the amount of work it takes physically, mentally, the preparation. We don’t expect a whole lot.

Knicks Notes: Jackson, Anthony, Hornacek, Fox

Team president Phil Jackson hasn’t changed his mind about Carmelo Anthony leaving the Knicks, but coach Jeff Hornacek sounds less certain, relays Jeff Arnold of The New York Times. Hornacek appears to be leaving the door open for a return by Anthony, who has two seasons left on his current contract and a no-trade clause to block any deal he doesn’t like. “Carmelo is a great player — he did a lot of great things for us,” Hornacek said. “He won us games. He hit some big shots for us; he was a guy that we could go to. If he’s back, he’ll be a guy that we go to again. If he’s not, then that’s when other guys are going to have to become the guy that maybe you can go to or give us big buckets.”

There’s more tonight out of New York:

  • Despite their differences, Jackson recently sent a text message to Anthony expressing support regarding his separation from his wife, La La, Arnold writes in the same story. Jackson notes that it’s a “tough time” for Anthony as his personal life has become the topic of tabloid headlines.
  • Jackson realizes the Knicks’ immediate future isn’t bright, which is part of the reason he wants Anthony to leave, writes Adi Joseph of USA Today. Addressing reporters at the draft combine, Jackson noted that Anthony hopes to compete for a title and New York can’t give him that opportunity. “We’d just like him to have success somewhere,” Jackson said. “We’re not going to be there. Hopefully we’ll be maybe a playoff team next year. It would be tough to consider us possible champions.” The Knicks are coming off a 31-51 season and haven’t had a winning team since 2012/13.
  • Jackson recently met with commissioner Adam Silver to discuss the state of the franchise, according to a post from Ian Begley on ESPN Now. Jackson indicated that Silver believes the Knicks are headed in the right direction. “You guys seem to want to knock us around a little bit, then make us look like we don’t know what we’re doing,” Jackson said to reporters, “but [Silver is] comfortable that we do. …. To have a positive base to work from is really important. And our fan core is positive and we’d like to give them hope because they’ve been disappointed.”
  • Kentucky point guard De’Aaron Fox interviewed with the Knicks during the combine and said he would love to play in New York, relays Adam Zagoria of Fanrag Sports. Fox is projected as a top five pick, so the Knicks might need some lottery luck to acquire him. “I don’t know too much about the triangle,” he said. “Everyone says it’s hard to learn, but if I go in there I’ll have to learn quickly. And [Kristaps] Porzingis, he’s amazing, watching the NBA this year. I really paid attention to the NBA this year knowing I’m about to go into this business; I had to stop watching it as a casual fan and start thinking of it as a business aspect. He’s great and if I get to play with him, I feel like we can do something special.”

Atlantic Notes: Anthony, Crowder, Simmons

Speaking with reporters at the NBA Draft Combine, Knicks president Phil Jackson reiterated that he thinks Carmelo Anthony should waive his no-trade clause and accept the reality of playing elsewhere, Marc Berman of the New York Post writes.

He has a no-trade contract. I think I expressed what I felt [in April]. I can’t express it any better,” Jackson said of the Knicks forward.

Jackson did note that he’s been in touch with Anthony through text messages, referencing the news reports that the Knicks star and his wife may be headed toward divorce.

In 74 games for the Knicks this season, Anthony averaged 22.4 points and 5.9 rebounds per game but the club won just 31 contests in a year marred by off-court melodrama.

There’s more from the Atlantic:

  • Don’t expect 2016 first overall pick Ben Simmons to suit up for the Sixers in the summer league this offseason, Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com tweets. Fans curious to see the forward in action, however, can always check his Instagram for a recent video of him practicing.
  • A league executive has praised Celtics general manager Danny Ainge for the trade that yielded Jae Crowder back in 2014, A. Sherrod Blakely of CSN New England writes. Crowder appeared to be little more than a throw-in in the Rajon Rondo deal but has evolved into a premier defender.
  • In an attempt to stop things in their tracks, Knicks president Phil Jackson opted not to address the situation unfolding with a beleaguered Kristaps Porzingis, an ESPN report mentions. The second-year man has voiced his displeasure with the organization but has also declared that he’d like to remain with the franchise.
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