If the New York Knicks end up being the trade partner with the Cavaliers for star point guard Kyrie Irving, it won’t include Kristaps Porzingis. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski wrote an article that detailed several young assets the Cavaliers were targeting in a potential Kyrie trade, including the 7’3″ Knicks unicorn. Today, a source told Newsday that the Knicks are not remotely interested in moving Porzingis in a Kyrie trade. That says an awful lot.
The future ceiling for Porzingis looks incredible. A big man with 3 point range is where the NBA is now. See KD, Anthony Davis, Karl Towns, et al. Though KD is on another level than Davis and Towns. But I digress. Shooting and spacing are what the league is now. If you have a big man that can give you space on offense and rebounding and shot blocking on defense, you’re in great shape. However, with the Knicks making Porzingis off limits, they are underselling how good Kyrie is right now.
Kyrie is 25, only 3 years older than Porzingis, and a proven player on the NBA Finals stage. Is there a better shot maker in the NBA than Kyrie Irving? His ability to get into the lane and finish is second to none. He’s got the league’s best handles and 1 on 1 is virtually unguardable. Plus Irving isn’t in his prime yet. Which means he could get better. With the league being about point guards, wings and versatile bigs, how do you choose which is more valuable?
The Knicks only see one franchise player between Kyrie and Porzingis, and it’s clear whom they think it is. Not so sure the potential upside of Porzingis is more franchise worthy than a proven Kyrie Irving.