With the NBA Draft set to hit soon, there are NBA Rumors flying around like crazy. One of the most compelling ones has the Philadelphia 76ers and the New York Knicks making a deal for the 76ers No.3 Pick and Dario Saric for the Knicks Kristaps Porzingis. While this deal may seem to favor the 76ers, let’s not be so hasty to make that decision.
Kristaps Porzingis is not happy with the current Knicks situation. Welcome to the NBA K.P. This is what happens when you deal with a huge market team like the New York Knicks with an owner who’s blinded by the bling and not results. Phil Jackson continues to alienate the most important people on the team and Porzingis may be looking for a way out. However, the 76ers are building towards a winner and Dario Saric is a huge part of that process.
So why would I say no to this trade? It’s simple. I do not trust Porzingis.
He’s a great talent, one of the best young players in the league but he doesn’t have that IT factor. Not saying that Saric has it but he does know how to play within a team’s system. In NY, it was just the Porzingis and Carmelo Anthony show with both players taking the majority of the shots. Will Porzingis be willing to play second or even third fiddle to Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons?
Dario Saric is a team player and what he brings to the floor is suited for the 76ers. He may shine with the Knicks as he will get a higher volume amount of shots unlike the 11 he took in 2016. Let’s not forget he’s just a rookie. During his rookie season, Porzingis started strong but faded down the stretch. Saric did the exact opposite during his campaign. He started slow but came on strong at the end.
Is Porzingis really worth Saric and assets? No.
Porzingis has had time to grow from his rookie year when he averaged 14 points, 7 rebounds and 2 blocks in 28 minutes with 72 starts. Saric just completed his rookie season where he averaged 13 points, 6 rebounds in 26 minutes with 36 starts. What happens if Saric were to get more playing time and more shots? Porzingis averaged 15 FGA and shot 45 percent from the field compared to 11 FGA and 41 percent for Saric. Not a big difference there.
Porzingis is a better defender but that’s what the Knicks needed him to be. The 76ers have Embiid and a cast of good defenders in the post. We were privileged to see Porzingis with a PG like Derrick Rose this year. He also played with a great offensive weapon in Anthony. Those two players alone were able to take pressure off K.P.’s shoulders.
The 76ers and New York Knicks are heading in two different directions and there is no way the 76ers should mortgage their future for a player they already have. Similar styles but different approaches to the game. The Knicks once saw Kristaps Porzingis. as the untradeable future of their team but that has changed with his child-like behavior. The 76ers are building a team piece by piece and the price tag for Porzingis is way too high.