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Kristaps Porzingis comments on New York Knicks' Carmelo Anthony trade

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As surprising as it was that the Oklahoma City Thunder traded for Paul George earlier this offseason, it may have been even more shocking that they traded for Carmelo Anthony on Saturday.

All it took to land PG-13 was Domantas Sabonis and Victor Oladipo, and they may have gotten an even bigger steal sending Enes Kanter, Doug McDermott and a 2018 second-round NBA Draft pick to the New York Knicks for Melo.

With Melo, George and reigning NBA MVP Russell Westbrook on the roster, the Oklahoma City squad looks like it may emerge as the top challenger to the Golden State Warriors for Western Conference supremacy.

The Knicks, however, are in a much different boat, as they now have to figure out how to build around star center Kristaps Porzingis. However, on Sunday, Porzingis told the New York Post that he's ready to accept his responsibility as the face of the franchise:

"I am ready for the challenge," Porzingis said. "I've been preparing myself for this moment."

It'll be interesting to see how Kanter and Porzingis share the court, if they can at all. Otherwise, the Knicks traded a star forward for, at best, a sixth man and a bench player.

Porzingis said he'd be said to see Melo go, as he learned a lot from one of the best pure scorers ever to set foot on an NBA court:

"Carmelo was a mentor to me," Porzingis said. "He was a big brother from day one. I texted him to tell him I appreciated that I was able to learn from him. Having him around was important for me. I respect him a lot. I also told him that if he doesn't bring his Rolls Royce with him, I'll take care of it."

The Knicks still have a long way to go before they challenge for a spot in the Eastern Conference playoffs, but at least they now have an identity they can build around Porzingis.

To his credit, Porzingis said he's learned a lot from playing for his international team in Latvia this offseason, making an impact in the EuroBasket tournament:

"It was important that I disconnected from everything," he said. "I was working on my game and resting my mind. I kept working hard this summer to put myself in this position. I'm coming in with a fresh mind. I don't want to carry anything from the previous season."

It's going to be a fresh start for all of the Knicks this season, as they'll have to form a new identity around their star center. One thing is for sure - it'll interesting to see what happens in the Big Apple this year.

Topics:
Eastern Conference
NBA
NBA Playoffs
Kristaps Porzingis
New York Knicks
Atlantic Division
Carmelo Anthony
NBA Draft
NBA Finals

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