Kristaps Porzingis threatened to leave the Knicks and go back to Europe days before his shocking trade to the Mavericks
- Knicks president Steve Mills said that Kristaps Porzingis gave the team a seven-day deadline to trade him away, threatening to return to Europe if they didn’t comply.
- “He walked into my office … and said, point-blank said to us, ‘I don’t want to be here. I’m not going to re-sign with the Knicks. And I’m going to give you seven days to trade me or I’m going back to Europe,'” Mills said.
- The news clarifies how the blockbuster deal that sent Porzingis to the Dallas Mavericks in January came together seemingly in minutes.
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One of the most shocking moves of the NBA season came back in January when Kristaps Porzingis was traded from the New York Knicks to the Dallas Mavericks.
The dealseemed to manifest out of nothing in a matter of minutes, turning from rumor to reality at a pace not usually seen in a league where roster moves are speculated about months, if not years, in advance.
As it turns out, the Knicks seem to have had good reason to push the trade through so quickly, as Porzingis had apparently given the team a seven-day deadline to move him to another team, or else he would return to Europe.
Read more: We’re learning more about the Kristaps Porzingis trade, and it’s becoming clear that it’s one of the most complicated deals in recent history
Speaking at an event on Wednesday, Knicks president Steve Mills said Porzingis had made it clear to the team that he would not re-sign with New York.
“He walked into my office … and said, point-blank said to us, ‘I don’t want to be here. I’m not going to re-sign with the Knicks. And I’m going to give you seven days to trade me or I’m going back to Europe,'” Mills said.
“So fortunately for us, that process that we talked about starting in September, we had a number of deals lined up. We started the trade calls as soon as he walked out of the office.”
You can watch Mills’ comments below.
The story clarifies the timeline surrounding the trade a bit more. While Porzingis would only become a restricted free agent during the 2019 offseason, his declaration that he would not re-sign with the Knicks gave the team extra motivation to get a deal done before the deadline to get the most potential return for the star.
Further, Porzingis’ seven-day ultimatum put the trade on the fast track. While the Latvian big man was only planning to go to Europe to rehab rather than play, his absence from the team would likely make it harder for the Knicks to find a trade partner, or at the very least would tank his value to frustrating levels for the New York front office as they attempted to make a deal.
Porzingis has not played since February 2018, when he went down with an ACL tear in a game against the Bucks.
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