Kristaps Porzingis is working his way back from injury, but the New York Knicks still have no timetable on a potential return.
One of the biggest questions for David Fizdale and the New York Knicks this season revolves around Kristaps Porzingis? When is the franchise cornerstone going to make his long-awaited return to the court?
That answer is still unclear. Fizdale spoke with Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News, providing the update that Porzingis has yet to start sprinting.
“He’s still kind of there,” Fizdale said. “Not huge jumps.”
It’s clear that the Knicks are in no rush to bring back their franchise cornerstone. In fact, Fizdale isn’t even planning on KP rejoining the team at all. He’s focusing on the guys he has already.
“I’m looking at these guys right now. I’m not even planning on KP at all,” Fizdale said. “I can see instantly how he fits, but I’m just trying to keep my mind focused on them. Because that would just be a huge distraction for me mentally, hoping and wishing for KP, that 25, 28 points, 10 rebounds and five blocks, whatever. I’ve got to lock in on these young bucks, keep them up to par.”
No Knick fan wants to hear that Porzingis’ progress is coming along slowly, but there is no strong incentive to rush him back. His long-term health should outweigh any potential positives that would come from playing Porzingis this season — especially if he isn’t 100 percent healthy.
Even then, it may be better to keep Porzingis out the entire season rather than rushing him back early to showcase him for potential free agent targets in the offseason. The young Knicks like Frank Ntilikina, Mitchell Robinson, Damyean Dotson, and Allonzo Trier are playing well. Tim Hardaway Jr. looks like a bonafide scorer. Furthermore, David Fizdale appears to be changing the culture in the locker room.
Any potential free agents already know how good KP is and no return to the court for a handful of games will do much to change a superstar’s decision next summer. Again, Porzingis’ long-term health is more important for the Knicks than any potential short-term gains.