If the New York Knicks parting ways with Kristaps Porzingis didn’t seem realistic a few months ago, it seems more and more realistic now.
It all started towards the end of the season when KP skipped an exit meeting with a man ironically dubbed the Zen Master, Phil Jackson. It’s ironic in that Jackson, general manager of the Knicks, has not been particularly zen about the incident.
He’s publicly ruminated about KP’s fit with the Knicks and has gone so far as insinuating that a change of scenery might be what’s best for the young star.
Also worth noting, Adrian Wojnarowski chimed in on the situation divulging an interesting bit of information. Jackson has actually stated that he’d like to acquire a top-four pick in this year’s draft as part of any trade for KP, his target being a young Kansas Jayhawk by the name of Josh Jackson.
So, what should the Boston Celtics offer Jackson for KP?
To the Boston Celtics – Kristaps Porzingis
To the New York Knicks – The Third Pick, Jae Crowder, and the 2019 Memphis First Round Pick
Ignoring the fact that Jackson has been operating totally irrationally, this deal might have some actual benefits for the Knicks.
First and foremost, the picks give them increased flexibility and a chance to start fresh once Carmelo Anthony becomes an unrestricted free agent in 2019. Jackson could draft whoever he wants and essentially build the team how he sees fit, rather than trying to build a team around Melo.
If that means drafting a defensive juggernaut with a suspect shot, well, so be it.
Second, Jae Crowder is a premier two-way player in this league relative to what he’s getting paid. Skill to dollar ratio, there likely isn’t a better option currently available in the NBA. His ability to shoot from three and play physical defense makes him a valuable guy that could plug into any roster.
Alternatively, the Celtics make this deal because they acquire a stud in KP who actually fills a positional hole.
Finally. No more guards.
Kristaps Porzingis is a young center who can stretch the floor offensively, and protect the rim on the defense. Last season he averaged just over 18 points, about seven rebounds, and a huge two blocks per game. He’s also shooting about 35 percent from beyond the arc.
KP would slot perfectly next to Al Horford, giving the Celtics arguably the best frontcourt in the league.
In addition to snagging KP, moving Crowder yields its own benefits. Namely, it opens up minutes for other wing players like Jaylen Brown.
Brown has shown flashes of greatness in his rookie season. If he gets more minutes it seems probable that he’ll tie together his abundant athleticism and skill, developing into a phenomenal player.
If a deal with the Celtics and the Knicks does go down sometime today, it could look something like this.