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Kristaps Porzingis trade hasn't been ruled out, because the Knicks always have drama

There is reportedly a “frenzy of interest growing” around the idea that Phil Jackson could trade Kristaps Porzingis.

Detroit Pistons v New York Knicks Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Carmelo Anthony isn’t the only player on the trade block in New York. According to The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowksi, there is a “frenzy of interest growing” around the possibility of Knicks president Phil Jackson trading Kristaps Porzingis this summer.

New York fielded multiple calls from teams interested in Porzingis, according to ESPN’s Ian Begley. Porzingis’ brother, Janis, said the gifted forward loves New York and wants to win there, per Begley. But he made it clear Porzingis will play through his contract and explore free agency if traded.

The Boston Celtics are a team interested in trading for Porzingis, according to the NY Daily News’ Stefan Bondy.

The trade interest is real, as Jackson dined with Arizona stretch-4 Lauri Markkanen on Monday, according to The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski. The Knicks hold the No. 8 pick in the Thursday’s NBA Draft, and Markkanen could be available as Porzingis’ replacement should he fall past draft projections.

Jackson drafted Porzingis fourth-overall in the 2015 NBA draft. After he was booed on draft night, the 7’3” forward placed second in Rookie of the Year voting, endearing himself to fans as a beacon of hope for the future.

Last season, Porzingis’ numbers improved to 18 points, seven rebounds, and two blocks per game, but the Latvian “unicorn” became frustrated with the direction of the franchise. The Knicks got out to a hot start but missed the playoffs after finishing the season 31-51, tailspinning around the Zen Master’s insistence to run his famed Triangle Offense.

Jackson also said Anthony, who took Porzingis under his wing as the star in New York, would be better off somewhere else after a season of attempted trades. The mixed signals frustrated Porzingis, who skipped out on his exit media session and did not attend his exit interview with Jackson.

"Despite how the Knicks are treating their players, Kris wants to stay in New York," Janis Porzingis said.

Jackson met with Janis during the offseason, but no one from the Knicks organization has spoken to or heard from the 7-footer since the end of the season, according to ESPN’s Ian Begley.

This doesn’t make any sense

The Knicks already have enough to worry about.

First, there was a drawn-out, public beef between Jackson and Anthony that included midseason trade attempts to both the Lakers and the Cavaliers. The year ended with Jackson telling the media that New York’s lone All-Star would be better off somewhere else and that both sides would benefit from a split.

Now, Jackson’s maneuvering into uncharted territory. Porzingis is regarded as the future of the franchise: the player to take the reins when Anthony leaves. That could be this season, it could be next, but his unique offensive skill set and defensive potential for a player his size make Porzingis a franchise player waiting to explode onto the scene.

If Jackson’s done only one thing right during his tenure in New York — a tenure where he’s put together a measly 80-166 record as GM, broke the roster apart twice, and failed to make a playoff appearance — it was drafting Porzingis in 2015.

Now, The Zen Master is on the verge of undoing his greatest Knicks accomplishment to date.