His brother made it clear that if traded, Porzingis intends to play out his contract and test free agency.
“Kris wants to stay in New York; he feels at home there. There is no question about it. The only thing he wants is for the Knicks to create an environment where he can develop and grow as a player and win,” Janis Porzingis said in an interview with ESPN. “If he were traded, he would play out his contract and head into free agency, where he can choose his own destiny.”
Janis Porzingis, a certified agent, works for the agency of Andy Miller, who is Kristaps’ agent.
Several teams reached out to the Knicks to talk about possible trades for Porzingis in the days after he skipped his exit meeting with team president Phil Jackson and general manager Steve Mills, league sources previously said.
It is unclear whether the discussions led to substantial trade parameters. Teams were inquiring about trading for Porzingis, 21, after he showed his frustration with the direction of the franchise by skipping the meeting.
Porzingis had been frustrated by the drama and dysfunction surrounding the team this season, according to team sources. His brother declined to comment on the rationale behind Porzingis having skipped exit meetings.
The Knicks have lost a total of 101 games in Porzingis’ first two seasons in the NBA. After a February defeat to the Brooklyn Nets, Porzingis discussed some of his frustration with the club.
He said there was confusion from “top to bottom” due to multiple changes in schemes by Knicks head coach Jeff Hornacek and the coaching staff over the course of the season. He added there was “a lot of stuff that’s not clear” to players and that it was “hard to play like that.”
New York was projected as a playoff team by some entering the 2016-17 season. But the Knicks struggled on both ends of the floor and finished with just 31 wins, missing the playoffs for the fourth straight season.
It is unclear if Jackson is willing to trade Porzingis. It would likely take a significant offer to cause Jackson and the Knicks’ hierarchy to move the 7-foot-3 forward.
At his season-ending news conference last month, Jackson was asked whether any personnel move, including a trade of Porzingis, is “off the table” this offseason.
“Everything has got to be possible, and we have to make sure that if people have something to say, we listen to it, we examine it,” Jackson said before complimenting Porzingis for his development this season.
Porzingis, entering his third season of a four-year contract, averaged 18.1 points and 7.3 rebounds this season. He is viewed by many around the league as a potential franchise cornerstone.
The Knicks can offer Porzingis a contract extension after next season. If no agreement is made next offseason, the Knicks can extend Porzingis a qualifying offer after the 2018-19 season, making him a restricted free agent. The qualifying offer would allow New York to match any offers Porzingis receives from other teams. If Porzingis doesn’t sign another team’s offer sheet in the summer of 2019 or chooses not to sign an extension with the Knicks, he probably would accept New York’s qualifying offer for the 2019-20 season and become an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2020.
His future with the club is less certain after the events of the past four weeks.
Porzingis hasn’t spoken with the Knicks since skipping the exit meeting. He left for his home country late last month, and he plans to play for the Latvian national team in the European Championships this offseason.