Porzingis hopes Knicks add vet to help in playoff push
NBA.com Global on Jan 31, 2018 07:25 AM
FILE - NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 20: Kristaps Porzingis #6 of the New York Knicks is introduced prior to the game against the LA Clippers on November 20, 2017 at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York. (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
NBA.com staff report
The New York Knicks have danced in and out of the playoff picture all season. As of this morning, they are a more than manageable 3 1/2 games out of the Eastern Conference's No. 8 spot. All-Star forward Kristaps Porzingis is in the midst of his best-ever season (23.1 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 2.3 bpg) and is hoping to get New York back into the postseason for the first time since 2013.
In order to pull that off, Porzingis thinks the Knicks should look to add a veteran presence to the roster before the Feb. 8 (Feb. 9, PHL time) trade deadline. Several players in the Knicks' rotation -- Courtney Lee, Enes Kanter, Jarrett Jack and Doug McDermott -- have been a part of playoff runs in the past, but one more playoff-tested voice likely wouldn't hurt things for the Knicks. Al Iannazzone of Newsday has more:
Kristaps Porzingis wants the Knicks to be buyers at the trade deadline to improve their chances of making the playoffs.
“Of course,” he said after practice Monday. “Playoff experience for myself individually would be huge at this point in my career — the sooner the better.
“For myself, selfishly I would want to play in the playoffs, but we’ll see what happens and how we can end the season.”
Some stars want to have input on trades, but Porzingis said he doesn’t need to speak with management about it. “I think they know I want to be in the playoffs and that’s the only thing on my mind,” he said. “I’m not going to go in there and be like, ‘No, we’re tanking. There’s no reason to play.’ That’s the only thing I’m focused on. What I need to do on the court to play better, make my team win.”
Some of the players who might interest other teams are among his closest friends on the team — Lee, Kyle O’Quinn and Willy Hernangomez — but he is taking a pragmatic approach to that. “It’s a business. Anything can happen,” he said. “The situation is what it is and stuff happens. We’ll see what happens.
“I have a great relationship with a lot of these guys, and every year it’s like that and every year a lot of new guys come in. It’s changing and it’s changing quick, so we’ve got to understand that part of it.”