Phil Jackson Speaks on Kristaps Porzingis’ Skill Set, Hopes for His Rookie Year

August 17th, 2015 by Joseph Zucker Leave a reply »

The New York Knicks demonstrated a rare bit of long-term vision when they drafted Kristaps Porzingis fourth overall in the 2015 draft. In an interview with Charley Rosen on, team president Phil Jackson opened up about the decision-making process behind drafting Porzingis and what the franchise expects for him in 2015-16.

Jackson told Rosen he wanted to go with a big man in the first round. The Philadelphia 76ers had taken Jahlil Okafor third overall, so the Knicks' options were realistically Porzingis, Willie Cauley-Stein, Frank Kaminsky and Myles Turner—the latter two New York could've potentially traded down and then drafted.

Jackson's mind was likely made up well before draft night after team adviser Clarence Gaines Jr. directed him to Porzingis' performance against FIATC Joventut in the final game of the season.

"Although the competition in the Spanish League is more physical, more consistent and more advanced than even the best D-I college teams over here, KP more than held his own," Jackson said of the 20-year-old. "He had a long, lively body, a well-developed basketball IQ, a soft shot with t ...

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