NBA

NBA Rumors: Four possible trade destinations for Kristaps Porzingis

PHOTOGRAPH: Keith Allison/Flickr | Kristaps Porzingis of the New York Knicks

Kristaps Porzingis and the New York Knicks could head into different directions in the upcoming offseason depending on Phil Jackson’s plan for the team. Porzingis expressed his intention to stay with the Knicks but made it clear that winning is his top priority.

Recently, Ian Begley of ESPN reported that multiple NBA teams have inquired about Porzingis availability via trade after the Latvian center skipped the exit meeting with the Knicks. Begley didn’t give the name of the teams but it’s interesting to see Porzingis wearing a different jersey next season. Here are the four teams who could trade for Kristaps Porzingis this offseason:

Boston Celtics

The Boston Celtics appeared to be an ideal trade partner for the Knicks if they want to move Porzingis this summer. The Celtics own the Brooklyn Nets’ 2017 first-round pick which is expected to be the No. 1 overall pick. The Knicks dream of drafting Markelle Fultz but it will not be possible if they won’t get a higher selection.

Trading Kristaps Porzingis for the No. 1 pick would benefit both the Knicks and the Celtics. Porzingis will undeniably boost the Celtics’ frontcourt and will give them another reliable scorer. This will also let Al Horford slide to his natural position at power forward.

Los Angeles Lakers

If the Los Angeles Lakers can turn back time, they will surely pick Kristaps Porzingis as the second overall pick in the 2015 NBA draft. The Latvian center is indeed a revelation and currently considered the next face of the Knicks’ franchise. The Lakers will be needing to trade D’Angelo Russell and another young frontcourt piece to acquire Porzingis with the Knicks.

If they land a top-three pick, the Lakers won’t need to forfeit their 2017 first-round pick to the Philadelphia 76ers. This will give them the chance to draft Russell’s replacement which will either be Lonzo Ball or Markelle Fultz.

Los Angeles Clippers

Porzingis’ recent tweet which read “LA Clippers” with three smiley face emojis caught the attention of the NBA fans. This drew various speculations, including the possibility that Porzingis wants to play for the Clippers next season. However, Porzingis revealed that it wasn’t him who posted the tweet.

No one can blame fans from speculating, especially with the Clippers facing a tough decision in the upcoming offseason. If they decide to let Blake Griffin go, Kristaps Porzingis will be the perfect replacement, forming the new “Big Three” with Chris Paul and DeAndre Jordan.

Oklahoma City Thunder

The outcome of the 2016-17 NBA season showed that the Oklahoma City Thunder need to add another superstar in order to become a legitimate title contender next season. Pairing Kristaps Porzingis with Russell Westbrook will be an interesting scenario, especially with Porzingis’ ability to stretch the floor. He can also play alongside Steven Adams on the Thunder’s frontcourt.

Unlike Enes Kanter, Porzingis wouldn’t be a headache on the defensive end since he can protect the rim. However, it remains questionable if the Thunder have enough assets to convince the Knicks to make a deal.

Photo courtesy: Keith Allison/Flickr

Video courtesy: Youtube/NBA

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