Suns had 2017 trade offer for former Knicks PF Kristaps Porzingis rejected

Feb 1, 2019, 3:05 PM
FILE - In this Jan. 26, 2018, file photo, New York Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis (6) controls t...
FILE - In this Jan. 26, 2018, file photo, New York Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis (6) controls the ball in the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Phoenix Suns in Phoenix. Porzingis’ left knee is healing well from a torn ACL and he will be re-evaluated in mid-February 2019. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri, File)
(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri, File)

The Phoenix Suns made a substantial offer to the New York Knicks for Kristaps Porzingis before the 2017 NBA Draft that was ultimately turned down, according to 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station’s John Gambadoro.

Along with the No. 4 overall pick that turned into Josh Jackson, the Suns offered the Miami Heat’s protected 2018 first-round pick and unprotected 2021 first-round pick plus a young player for Porzingis. The Knicks rejected the offer.

In mid-June of 2017, Porzingis was on the market. The Knicks took calls on Porzingis’ availability, including reported discussions with the Suns that had the Knicks deadset on acquiring Devin Booker in the deal.

ESPN’s Ian Begley reported at the time of the talks that former Suns forward Marquese Chriss and current Suns forward Dragan Bender were young players being discussed in the deal.

The Knicks reportedly were targeting Jackson with the pick, who wound up being selected by the Suns at No. 4 after no deal came to fruition.

At the time, Phil Jackson was in charge of basketball operations for the Knicks and had voiced his displeasures with Porzingis on multiple occasions. Jackson was let go on June 28 of that year. Talks would then die down on Porzingis’ availability, with the Knicks backing the 23-year-old as the future of the franchise.

On Thursday, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Porzingis was unsettled in New York due to the lack of winning and the culture surrounding the franchise. Later in the day, Porzingis was traded to the Dallas Mavericks.

The 7-foot-3 power forward had an outstanding 2017-18 campaign, averaging 22.7 points and 6.6 rebounds per game before tearing his ACL in February. He has not yet played for the Knicks this season and his status for the rest of the year in Dallas remains unknown. He is a restricted free agent this offseason.

Wojnarowski said on “The Woj Pod” Friday the Suns turned down a straight swap for Jackson.

“Oh, they weren’t rumors,” he said. “Phoenix, if they were willing to give up the No. 4 pick which was Josh Jackson, they would’ve gotten him.”

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