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NBA Trade Rumors: The Kings Should be Pursuing Kristaps Porzingis

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The Latvian Unicorn may be on the trade block.

NBA: Sacramento Kings at New York Knicks Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

In a shocking, and frankly unsurprisingly foolish manuever, Phil Jackson has made his young star, Kristaps Porzingis, available in trade talks.

The rumors surrounding the seven foot freak began circulating last night, but they were somewhat overshadowed by the actual trades that took place as well as the assumption that New York was merely taking calls about every player on their roster, instead of actively shopping Porzingis.

Tonight, that thread has taken another turn from tweets by Frank Isola of the New York Daily News and the always in-the-know, Adrian Wojnarowski, along with The Vertical.

The situation is this, the Knicks are making the dumb decision to trade one of the best young talents in the entire NBA. The Knicks are also seeking a large return (understandably so), and would presumably use any assets gained from trading their young star to begin a rebuild. Yes, this sounds very odd to me as well.

But, we’re not here to discuss Phil Jackson’s ridiculousness; instead, we’re here to debate if and how much Vlade Divac and Scott Perry should be willing to give up for The Zinger.

Here’s my personal take, I would give up the fifth pick, a young stud (WCS, Buddy, or Skal), and Malachi Richardson, as well as Afflalo’s mostly unguaranteed contract in exchange for Porzingis and Joakim Noah’s otherworldly contract.

A lot of people may disagree with an offer of that magnitude, but the chances of either of our picks, or any of our players, becoming as good as Kristaps is right now is extremely unlikely. Not only is the Latvian star a high contributor right now, but he’s also younger than Willie Cauley-Stein and Buddy Hield and the same age as Skal Labissiere. We frequently discuss all three of these players’ potential with justifiable optimism, but Kristaps is the same age or younger and outplaying all of those prospects, and it’s not close.

In fact, Kristaps has very similar production to a young, 21-year old, second year stud that we’ve known for many years.

Untitled

Player Season Age G GS MP FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% 2P 2PA 2P% eFG% FT FTA FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
Player Season Age G GS MP FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% 2P 2PA 2P% eFG% FT FTA FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
DeMarcus Cousins 2011-12 21 64 62 30.5 7 15.6 0.448 0 0.2 0.143 7 15.4 0.453 0.449 4.1 5.8 0.702 4.1 6.8 11 1.6 1.5 1.2 2.7 4 18.1
Kristaps Porzingis 2016-17 21 66 65 32.8 6.7 14.9 0.45 1.7 4.8 0.357 5 10.2 0.493 0.507 3 3.8 0.786 1.7 5.5 7.2 1.5 0.7 2 1.8 3.7 18.1

There are probably only a couple of teams in the NBA that can compete with the Kings current haversack of assets. Boston is an obvious contender and the Portland Trailblazers (McCollum + multiple first rounders) and the Orlando Magic (young assets and two first rounders) are two additional organizations that could throw their hat in the ring as well.

There’s a fine line to walk this time of year between aggressiveness and irresponsibility with assets, but our newly formed front office should be carefully navigating that realm and contacting Phil Jackson about a true star player. A situation like this, with a player of his caliber, at his age, on his rookie contract, will probably not arise again in the next few decades. The Kings should be calling New York and working on a deal and they should be doing it right now.

What do you think? What would you give up for Kristaps Porzingis?