The Unicorn has caught the San Antonio Spurs’ attention. The Spurs reportedly have “significant interest” in the New York Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis, who will be up for negotiations as a restricted free agent in the off-season while recovering from a torn ACL. Having an all-time affinity for foreign athletes and their work ethics, Spurs’ head coach Gregg Popovich has seen success most notably with Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and of course Tim Duncan. Porzingis fits right into Popovich’s style of play – no nonsense, low flair, high work rate.
The Knicks recently decided against signing Porzingis to a rookie extension, a move that will give New York an extra $10 million in cap space in their bid to lure either Kyrie Irving or Kevin Durant to their roster.
Averaging a career-high 22.7 points and 6.6 rebounds, the Latvian would undoubtedly be a great addition to the Spurs who are struggling with their post big-three era. Stepping into this season without either of the three aforementioned for the first time in 21 years, Popovich was dealt another blow with the loss of 3-and-D guard Danny Green and star forward Kawhi Leonard to the Raptors. The aging roster with no significant franchise player for the foreseeable future is a key factor for chasing the 23-year-old.
In the midst of rebuilding the team with polarizing young players and rookies, the Spurs are still in need of a strong defense, offensive output and versatility if they want to see themselves at the top of the table again. This is where Porzingis makes a perfect fit into the picture. Dominating in the low post and at the perimeter, this 7-foot-3 giant is an offensive overkill on the court. With his height advantage, strong footwork and game instincts, Porzingis will prove to be an essential rim protector with his invincible blocks and dynamic defense prowess with the Spurs. As the Spurs are having trouble with their offensive rebounds (9.4 compared to NBA’s average of 10.3), Porzingis would be extremely helpful in grabbing boards both on the defensive and offensive end.
Since the 2015-2016 season, Popovich had already seen potential in former-rookie Prozingis. “From what I’ve seen, he’s a special young man,’’ Popovich said. “They (New York Knicks) were very astute in figuring out what he might be down the road. His agility, sense of the game, his skills are quite significant. I think he’s going to be a great player.’’
“He’s a hell of a young talent. He’s got intelligence, skills and competes.’’Leave a comment