6. The Unicorn and His Knee
Like most fans, I’ve been hooked on these mini-documentary episodes chronicling Porzingis and his recovery from an ACL-tear. The man’s upper body looks great and both KP and his team have enlisted the help of everyone from, physical therapists, body-movement specialists, and nutritionists to make sure that Porzingis fully recovers from his injury.
This will easily be one of the biggest stories of the season as early reports targeted a December return date for KP. And while most fans can’t wait until they see their franchise player back on the court, expectations are tempered, and his overall health is a priority over everything.
Bringing KP back in December can certainly help the Knicks win games. He will give a shot of energy to everyone from the fan base to the players, coaches and the front-office. Additionally, seeing Porzingis on the court gives potential free-agents in 2019 the opportunity to see what type of shape KP is in. Remember when Kyrie Irving said that he would love to play with a guy like KP? I sure do, and you know he’ll be watching as well.
But of course, the flipside is that bringing him back to early may not be the best option for his health. Taking the full year off might be the safest and smartest option, giving the knee more than a full calendar year to heal.
Another KP related storyline will be when the Knicks decide to offer Porzingis an extension and how much it will be worth. Do the Knicks try to skim a little off the top, considering the injury? Most likely not, Porzingis represents the closest thing the Knicks have to a franchise player since Patrick Ewing. However, the timing of the extension, that will matter.
In an article for Forbes, Tommy Beer explains that offering Porzingis an extension after the 2018-2019 season makes the most financial sense, leaving close to $22 million in cap space. Combine this with the relief from the stretch provision of Noah’s contract, and the Knicks will have enough for one max contract.
Stay tuned for part two of the top 10 storylines for the 2018-2019 season.