Phil Jackson and the Knicks are seriously considering possible trade options involving their young star Kristaps Porzingis. The Knicks president acknowledged the rumors on Wednesday night and indicated that it might take two starting caliber players plus draft picks to land Porzingis in a deal.
We didn’t know exactly what that would translate to in terms of a solid offer, but he made it known that Porzingis will come at a high price for any potential suitors. The Boston Celtics are reportedly the team having the strongest discussions with the Knicks, and they are trying their best to make something happen to bring Porzingis to Boston but haven’t been able to meet New York’s demands yet.
According to Frank Isola of the New York Daily News, the Knicks are requesting a massive bounty from the Celtics for Porzingis in the form of two top draft picks and two starting caliber players.
According to a Knicks source, Jackson is asking for the third overall pick in Thursday’s draft as well as next year’s Brooklyn pick along with Jaylen Brown and Jae Crowder. This version of the deal would not include Boston taking on Joakim Noah’s contract.
The Celtics feel the price is far too high but they are open to tweaking the deal to include just one draft pick, either this year’s No. 3 or next year’s Brooklyn pick.
The No. 3 pick this year, the 2018 Nets pick, Brown, and Crowder would be a massive haul for the Knicks and, even for a player of Porzingis’ skill and potential, it’s understandable why the Celtics would balk at such an offer. Brown and Crowder are both valuable, but could likely be plucked from the Celtics in a deal for Porzingis, but the reported hang up, according to Isola, is that Boston doesn’t want to give up both of their prized draft picks for the next two years.
The Nets pick could, once again, turn into the top pick in the 2018 draft as it did in this year’s draft, and we are aware of the Knicks’ desires to land Josh Jackson this year. The Celtics would still be in position to snag one of the top free agents on the market if they were land Porzingis because of his cheap rookie deal, but mortgaging the future and giving up that many draft assets clearly spooks Ainge.
According to ESPN’s Ian Begley, the Celtics’ offer was far less than what the Knicks requested, with the No. 3 pick, one player, and another 2017 lottery pick that Boston will try and acquire on draft night.
As to what pick the Celtics might be trying to get to add to a Porzingis deal, Michael Scotto of Basketball Insiders reports they have inquired about the No. 7 pick that Minnesota holds.
There is a significant gap between those two deals that have reportedly been offered and counter-offered, but, if as Isola reports, the Celtics are willing to part with the two players requested by the Knicks and one of those two picks, there’s still potential for this to happen and for one of the all-time blockbuster draft night trades to take place.