Knicks’ Unlikely to Make ‘Significant Commitment’ by Trading for Former Big Man

William Wesley, Leon Rose, New York Knicks

Getty William Wesley, Leon Rose, New York Knicks

The New York Knicks have been linked with a potential trade to bring Kristaps Porzingis back to Madison Square Garden.

However, according to SNY’s Ian Begley, acquiring the former lottery pick would be a ‘significant commitment’ for the Knicks, thus making a potential deal seem unlikely as they look to maintain roster flexibility.

Porzingis has a $33.8 million player option for next season. The only way he’d turn the option down is if he had high enough confidence that another long-term offer was coming,” Begley wrote. “The prospect of bringing Porzingis back to New York on a long-term deal may look good on paper, but it would be a significant commitment for the Knicks, and it doesn’t seem like a path they’d go down at this time.”

Porzingis, 27, enjoyed a solid season for the Washington Wizards this year, averaging 23.2 points, 8.4 rebounds, and 2.7 assists while shooting 49.8% from the field, and 38.5% from deep.

Kristaps Pozingis Spoke Fondly of Time With Knicks

During a June 1 appearance on the Ariel Helwani Show, Kristaps Porzingis discussed his time with the Knicks and the way in which his tenure with the franchise came to an end.

“That was like my first love, the city of New York,” Porzingis said. “Playing in [Madison Square Garden], so of course I have not the best feeling when I get so much hate, but, as I said, [the relationship is] better. Of course, I can understand now how the fans could feel that way or how they viewed me at that time, and then I asked for a trade, and I get painted as the villain. But it is what it is.”

From a basketball standpoint, Porzingis could be an ideal fit alongside Julius Randle and Jalen Brunson. However, due to his $36 million salary, the Knicks may look to avoid a reunion as they hold out for a true superstar to become available.

Knicks Unlikely to Extend Obi Toppin

According to Spotrac’s Keith Smith, the Knicks could opt against offering Obi Toppin a contract extension this summer, thus allowing the explosive forward to become a restricted free agent in 2024.

“Toppin’s career has been spent as a low-minute backup behind Julius Randle,” Smith wrote on June 5. “There’s very much still a mystery box quality to his game. He’s flashed when given time, but those flashes aren’t extension-worthy … unless he’s traded ahead of the extension deadline.”

Toppin has struggled to find a consistent role since being drafted by the Knicks with the eighth overall pick in the 2020 draft, starting just 15 of his 201 regular-season contests. Still, Toppin has flashed moments of genuine upside, yet they have been few and far between.

This past season, the New York native played in 67 regular-season games, producing 7.4 points, 2.8 rebounds, and 1 assist per game while shooting 44.6% from the field and 34.4% from deep.

Assuming the Knicks do decide not to offer Toppin a contract extension, the pressure will be on the forward to show significant improvement next season in order to try and maximize his earning potential on his next deal.

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