Is Kyrie Irving Planning to Leave the Celtics?
The Boston Celtics are worried that Kyrie Irving will leave instead of resign with them. Should the Celtics be worried?
The San Antonio Spurs have “significant interest” in New York Knicks center Kristaps Porzingis, according to The Ringer's Kevin O'Connor. Porzingis, an All-Star in 2018, has yet to play this season as he recovers from a torn ACL he suffered last February.
Porzingis averaged 22.7 points, 6.6 rebounds and 2.4 blocks in 48 games played last season before tearing his ACL. He shot a career-best 39.5 percent from three-point territory.
A restricted free agent this summer, Porzingis will likely command a max contract of four years—which would equate to $122.1 million. The Knicks can match any contract the Spurs, or any other team, proposes to the 23-year-old.
Clearing cap space for Porzingis will be a challenge for the Spurs. They would have to dispatch some of their higher-paid players—possibly trading either four-time All-Star DeMar DeRozan or six-time All-Star LaMarcus Aldridge—and waiving Pau Gasol‘s partially-guaranteed contract of $16 million for next season. Rudy Gay’s contract ($10 million) also comes off the books this summer.
Because the Knicks can match any offer sheet an opposing team hands Porzingis, the 7-foot-3-inch Latvian big man will likely stay in New York unless a trade takes place.
The Knicks hold the third-worst record in the NBA with a 10-30 mark. There is no reason to bring back Porzingis this season, who is better off sitting out and returning to full health.