Phil Jackson, New York Knicks president, has said that he wants to make only meaningful trades ahead of the NBA Trade Deadline on February 18.
In a press conference to address the sacking of head coach Derek Fisher, Jackson was, as expected, fielded with multiple questions on the impending deadline. “We’re looking to improve this ballclub, there’s no doubt. We know that we have some good guys. The chemistry is pretty good. The talent can still be better. It always can, so we’re looking,” Jackson said on Monday.
Jackson made it resoundingly clear that Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis are off-limits in trade talks. However, the rest of the players can be had with proverbial right deal, revealed the Hall-of-Famer who coached the Chicago Bulls and the Los Angeles Lakers to 11 championships. “I think it is a known fact that Carmelo has a no-trade (clause). And we like Kris. Everybody likes Kris (Prozingis). There’s not too many people that ever would say that I would trade (Kristaps).”
Porzingis ought to be protected. He has given hope to Knicks fans who have been suffering with mediocre teams for over two decades. The only way Anthony can be traded is if the superstar forward expresses his desire to play for a championship contender. Already on the wrong side of 30, time is running out for Anthony, who has never made the NBA Finals in his 13-year career.
Seeking a floor general….
Recently, the Knicks have been linked to the likes of Jeff Teague, Dennis Schroder, Brandon Jennings and Mike Conley Jr. Jackson acknowledged that he didn’t have many attractive trade pieces to land one of those floor generals. “Do we sit in a really favorable spot? Probably not. We don’t have a tremendous amount of favorable trade items that are on our roster,” admitted Jackson.
With Knicks having lost nine of their last 10 games, Jackson realizes that the team needs to make a few changes. “Like any team looking to improve themselves, we are open to discussion. We have to be. That is just the way of the nature of the game.”
The Knicks could land a useful piece or two if they are willing to give up Arron Afflalo or Robin Lopez. It remains to be seen what Phil Jackson and the Knicks can conjure up ahead of the February 18 deadline.