It turns out Kristaps Porzingis didn't trust the process coming into the 2015 draft. He and agent Andy Miller did all they could to purposefully sabotage his chances of landing with the 76ers. They even shielded Porzingis from a potential meeting with general manager Sam Hinkie, according to a new feature story by Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski.
While the Timberwoves were locked in on Karl-Anthony Towns as the first overall selection, Porzingis was reportedly in play for every pick that came after that. He worked out for the Lakers, owners of the second overall pick, and the Knicks, who were selecting fourth overall. He reportedly knew he wouldn't last past the fifth pick, because the Magic were enamored with him after scouting him for years.
He did not, however, work out or even meet with the 76ers, who held the No. 3 pick. It wasn't because of logistics of a lack of interest by the team. It was because his representatives did everything they could to stonewall the 76ers when they wanted to learn more about him. Per Wojnarowski:
Miller didn't make it easy for Philadelphia to draft Porzingis at No. 3. The Sixers wouldn't be afforded Porzingis' physical, nor get a private workout, nor even a face-to-face meeting. After most of the pro day executives cleared out of the gym in Vegas in mid-June, 76ers general manager Sam Hinkie lingered to meet with Miller. Hinkie stopped him in the lobby area and asked Miller about a chance to sit down and visit with Porzingis.
"You said that I would get a meeting with him here," Hinkie told Miller.
"I said, 'I'd try,' and it's not going to work out, Sam," Miller responded."
That hurts. Teams are supposed to hold all the cards in the draft, while prospect try to impress them to get selected as high as possible. Yet Porzingis wanted to avoid the 76ers so badly that he had his agent treat Hinkie like the kid no one invites to parties.
The 76ers could have picked Porzingis anyway, as many teams have selected players they didn't work out. However, they went with Jahlil Okafor instead. It's possible that would have been the decision even if they had been able to sit down and work out Porzingis. After all, Okafor was considered the best prospect in the draft for most of the year leading up to it.
Porzingis didn't want to leave it to chance, though, so he took matters into his own hands. Considering how the 76ers' season has gone so far, Okafor might be wishing he had done the same.
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