Porzingis says he's staying out of Knicks' coaching search

ByIan Begley ESPN logo
Sunday, April 15, 2018

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- All-Star forward Kristaps Porzingis says he doesn't need to have any input on the New York Knicks' coaching search.

"That's [management's] job. They're going to do their part and I'm going to do my part. We'll keep it like that," Porzingis said Saturday before meeting with Knicks team president Steve Mills and general manager Scott Perry.

Mills and Perry fired Jeff Hornacek earlier this week and have begun a search for the next Knicks coach.

Former Grizzliescoach David Fizdale, former Cavaliers coach David Blatt (now coaching in Turkey) and former Warriors coach Mark Jackson (now an ESPN analyst) are among the candidates the Knicks planned to contact after Hornacek's firing, league sources told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

New York also planned to contact Jerry Stackhouse-- coach of Raptors 905, Toronto's G League affiliate -- according to sources.

Whomever the Knicks hire will be Porzingis' fourth coach in four NBA seasons in New York.

"The situation is what it is. I'm sure the front office, they will make the right decisions and build something that can go a long way," said Porzingis, who averaged 22.7 points, 6.6 rebounds and 2.4 blocks in 48 games. "I think they will make the right decisions, so we have to trust them."

One year ago, Porzingis skipped his exit meeting with then-president Phil Jackson, Mills (the general manager at the time) and Hornacek. He did so due to frustration over the drama and dysfunction surrounding the organization.

Before meeting with Mills and Perry on Saturday, Porzingis, 22, reiterated that he wants to remain in New York long term. "I love this place," he said.

Porzingis repeatedly said that he's focused on his rehab from a torn ACL and not on the Knicks' coaching search.

The Knicks and Porzingis are entering a pivotal offseason. Mills and Perry can offer Porzingis a five-year, $157 million extension during free agency. The organization seemed comfortable with the idea of making that offer before Porzingis' injury. It is unclear if or how Porzingis' injury will impact their approach.

If the Knicks offer Porzingis an extension next summer rather than this summer, it could create an additional $10 million in cap space for the club in the summer of 2019.

Porzingis said his contract situation would not have any impact on when he returns the court.

"It all depends on how I can come [back] from the injury and how I move," Porzingis said. "I want to come back more fluid. So whenever I see myself ready and whenever my team allows me to come back, I'll come back. It's tough to imagine already that decision and me trying to make that decision right now."

There is no timetable for Porzingis' return, but he is expected to be sidelined until at least December.

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