Yet, Kristaps Porzingis, who has 0, as may be the Knicks most valuable player. Valuable in the sense that this is the guy who the organization will build around, once veterans are gone or near the tail end of their careers.
This means that Porzingis is going to have to step up this season for the Knicks. They are fighting for a playoff spot at this point in the East. The Cavaliers are the clear team to beat, but after that, it truly is a toss up for playoff spots in the East.
Porzingis has obviously shown he is capable of being the player they thought he can be this past season. He averaged 14.3 PPG and 7.3 RPG while going 42% from the field. Those are some decent numbers for a rookie that is even able to stretch out his defensive ability to three point land.
Porzingis is a future star for the franchise, but the Knicks are steering in a direction not solely focused on Porzingis. They want to compete for what is left of Carmelo’s prime. With who they’ve added this offseason, they are in win now mode. Porzingis will have to take a back seat for the time being, but if he is able to show improvement this season, there is no reason to think why he wouldn’t be a big part of this team.
Porzingis’ best position is at center, but with Noah locked in for the next four years, the Knicks must be strategic in order to get Kristaps his time for progression. You can try and play him at the power forward position, but his defense could potentially lack there.
He’ll have to develop a little bit quicker than his peers. The Timberwolves are shooting for the playoffs, but in all reality, they are still another year away. D’Angelo Russell is still in a rebuilding situation with the Lakers. Not to mention, Jahlil Okafor is stuck in Philadelphia where playoffs are still multiple years away.
This doesn’t mean Porzingis won’t develop, but it will be a little bit harder than other young NBA players.