Kristaps Porzingis
(AP Photo / David Zalubowski)

Kristaps Porzingis was swiftly traded from the New York Knicks after giving team president Steve Mills an ultimatum.

Danny Small

The Kristaps Porzingis trade shook up the NBA, but his trade request didn’t surprise the New York Knicks. Shortly after a meeting with Knicks brass and requesting a trade, the Knicks had a deal done.

Team president Steve Mills and general manager Scott Perry worked quicker than anyone could have expected and shipped Porzingis off to Dallas. Speaking at an event recently, Mills talked about the preparation leading up to the Porzingis trade.

“When he walked into my office,” Mills said, “and Scott [Perry] was sitting there with me and point blank [Porzingis] said to us, ‘I don’t want to be here. I’m not going to re-sign with the Knicks and I’m giving you seven days to trade me or I’m going back to Europe.'”


“Fortunately for us, through that process that we talked about, that started in September, we had a number of deals lined up.”

It’s not surprising that Porzingis would give the Knicks an ultimatum like this and, in fact, this has been previously reported by Marc Berman of the New York Post.

The relationship deteriorated in large part due to former team president, Phil Jackson. Yes, Mills was still a part of the front office at that point. But hiring Perry as GM seems to have stabilized the organization even if they couldn’t convince the Latvian superstar to buy in.

Additionally, the front office was able to use the trade to pivot and put the Knicks in an enviable position. The trade brought back Dennis Smith Jr., multiple draft picks, and enough salary cap space to sign two max free agents.

Whether or not they can capitalize on the draft picks and salary cap space is another story entirely.



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