After an exciting 2022-23 campaign that saw them finish in the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference standings and claim their first postseason series win in a decade, many expect to see the New York Knicks try to make some splashes this summer to help improve their odds of achieving even greater success come next season.
Though they could look toward several different avenues to accomplish such a feat, there are recent rumblings that suggest a reunion with former centerpiece Kristaps Porzingis could be an interesting idea and SNY’s NBA insider Ian Begley stated on a May 31 edition of Knicks Film School that he wouldn’t be surprised to see such rumors surfacing throughout the offseason.
“It wouldn’t shock me. I think any kind of bad blood between the organization and Porzingis is kind of not there anymore. Time heals those things and it’s also a different regime. I wouldn’t be shocked,” Ian Begley said.
Despite this, however, Begley would continue on by stating that he believes “there are probably other players that would be ahead on the Knicks’ list of priorities ahead of Porzingis,” and suggested that his read on the big man’s current employers in the Washington Wizards is that they aren’t necessarily interested in breaking up their core foundation at this point in time.
Selected fourth overall back in the 2015 NBA Draft, Kristaps Porzingis spent his first three-and-a-half seasons with the Knicks before being traded to the Dallas Mavericks in January of 2019 after a tumultuous end to his tenure due to damaged relationships between him and the club’s decision-makers at the time.
In the years since his departure, the big man’s tune has shifted quite a bit when discussing his time in New York and even noted recently that he wishes he could have handled things differently during the end of his tenure.
Porzingis finds himself coming off of one of his best statistical seasons in the association, as he posted impressive averages of 23.2 points, 8.4 rebounds, 2.7 assists, and 1.5 blocks on 49.8% shooting from the floor and 38.5% shooting from deep through 65 games played.
Kristaps Porzingis Could Replace Mitchell Robinson
As noted, the concept of seeing Kristaps Porzingis back in a Knicks uniform is one that has already been floated this offseason, with Steve Popper of Newsday going as far as to suggest that he could serve as a replacement option at the starting center position in place of Mitchell Robinson.
“New front office, new coach, no ties to the hopes and dreams that he once carried in New York and the bridges burned on both sides. What you see now is a possible replacement for Mitchell Robinson in the middle that would provide outside shooting and clear the lane for Brunson, RJ Barrett and Julius Randle,” Popper wrote.
Throughout his five-year career with the Knicks, Robinson has established himself as one of the best offensive-rebounding bigs and rim protectors in the game today and posted 7.4 points, 9.4 rebounds (4.5 on the offensive glass), and 1.8 blocks while shooting a highly efficient 67.1% from the field through 58 games played in 2022-23.
However, his limited scoring game coupled with his off-court antics have proven to be quite debilitating for this ball club with aspirations of legitimately contending. One Eastern Conference general manager even went as far as to inform Heavy Sports NBA insider Sean Deveney that New York wouldn’t be opposed to offloading him in a ‘bigger’ trade package this summer.
Should Leon Rose and company move on from the 25-year-old in the near future, Popper believes that a potentially sound shakeup to the pivot position could be reuniting with their former franchise big man in Porzingis.
Knicks ‘Parting Ways’ With Scott Perry
After nearly six seasons serving as general manager of the New York Knicks, Newsday’s Steve Popper reported on May 30 that Scott Perry is expected to leave his position with the franchise this summer.
“Newsday has learned that the Knicks and general manager Scott Perry will part ways. Perry’s contract is up shortly and he will not return. Extended 2 years ago by the current front office he helped smooth the transition but won’t be kept on in the crowded group of decision makers,” Popper stated via Twitter.
Scott Perry signed on to serve as GM of the Knicks back in 2017 and has been a key figure and voice along the way, guiding the franchise to many of the changes and alterations (both for better and for worse) seen throughout his tenure.