NBA

Kristaps Porzingis.

Report: Phil Jackson wanted to trade Kristaps Porzingis to draft Lonzo Ball

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Phil Jackson's tenure as the president of the New York Knicks was a disaster, to say the least, and he has left the franchise in a worse state than when he joined. 

Jackson and the Knicks agreed to mutually part ways after three years in which the team failed to make the playoffs and any significant progress.

Among the Zen Master's many mistakes in New York was his decision to give Carmelo Anthony a no-trade clause.

He then proceeded to publicly criticise his star player on multiple occasions in a bid to force him to waive that clause so the team could trade him. 

His relationship with Melo became strained and this had an effect on the Knicks' future franchise player Kristaps Porzingis. 

The Latvian didn't like the treatment Carmelo was receiving and duly skipped his exit meeting with Jackson and the Knicks management at the end of the season. 

During his time in the Big Apple, drafting Porzingis was seen as the only good thing Jackson did, but it appears he was willing to trade the big man before this year's draft. 

Golden State Warriors v New York Knicks

According to veteran NBA reporter Peter Vecsey, the former Lakers coach toyed with the idea of trading KP in order to land the number one pick in the draft and select Lonzo Ball.

"People knew, they probably wouldn't have accepted, but Phil was angling to try to trade Porzingis for the Number one pick to Boston and he would have taken [Lonzo] Ball," Vecsey said. "That's who he was after. In the end, people might really like that."

It became clear a few months ago that the Knicks were somehow willing to listen to trade offers for the talented 22-year-old but this divided members of the team's front office. 

"As much as we love this guy, we have to do what's best for the club," Jackson said at the time, according to ESPN.com's Ian Begley.

New York Knicks v Detroit Pistons

Owner Jim Dolan was reportedly against the idea and it was one of the factors that led to the dismissal of the former Knicks legend. 

Since the 71-year-old's departure, Porzingis has been keen to focus on the new season and the organisation showed their commitment to building with him as they picked up the 2018-19 team option on his contract.

Speaking at the NBA Africa game recently, the Knicks star said: "So far it's been tough in New York, but my journey is only beginning and I hope to stay there my whole career, so as a city we can have some fun and win some games and do something big. For me, it's now home."

Topics:
Eastern Conference
NBA
Kristaps Porzingis
New York Knicks
Atlantic Division
Joakim Noah
Chicago Bulls
Central Division
Carmelo Anthony

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