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Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek on Kristaps Porzingis: 'I don't see him going anywhere'

ORLANDO, Fla. -- New York Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek doesn't believe the franchise will trade young star Kristaps Porzingis. Former team president Phil Jackson had discussed the possibility of trading Porzingis with several teams before the draft, but no deal materialized.

"I think it was out there that Phil was listening, but he wasn't out shopping KP. We love KP and what he does, so I don't see him going anywhere," Hornacek said on Sunday afternoon after the Knicks' Summer League game.

The Knicks, under Jackson, discussed trades involving Porzingis, 21, with several teams, including the Boston Celtics and Phoenix Suns, before the June 22 NBA Draft.

It was widely assumed that Jackson wanted to teach Porzingis a lesson after the player skipped his exit meeting due to the dysfunction and drama surrounding the organization.

But several members of the organization were in favor of moving Porzingis before the draft, per sources.

Jackson's public discussion of his decision to talk to teams about trading Porzingis did not sit well with owner James Dolan, according to sources. Dolan fired Jackson last week.

It is unclear if the club had any discussions with teams about a trade involving Porzingis after the draft or after Jackson's ouster.

The Knicks have been in touch with Porzingis recently, according to Hornacek, who added that he didn't think Porzingis' skipped exit meeting was significant, but added that Porzingis could learn a lesson from it.

"Guys make decisions to do whatever," Hornacek said. "I'm sure when he comes back, we'll talk. If you're going to be more the leader on the team, those things are lessons. Not that big a deal."

Hornacek has intimated that the Knicks plan to build around Porzingis going forward.

He said on Saturday that Porzingis is ready to be the focal point of the offense, a statement he hadn't made in the past and one that Jackson shied away from in his last press conference as team president.

"That's his next step in his growth as a player, to be able to handle some of that," Hornacek said. "He's going to have to take that next step of taking over. I think he's probably ready for that."

Porzingis averaged 18.1 points, 7.2 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game in 2016-17, his second NBA season. He is currently in Latvia and plans to play for the Latvian National Team this summer in the European Championships. Hornacek said that he or other Knicks staffers may attend the tournament, which will feature fellow Knicks Willy Hernangomez (Spain) and Mindaugas Kuzminskas (Lithuania).

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