The New York Knicks’ busy offseason has made it easy to forget that the most important player on the roster is a 20 year old who they drafted last summer. Through the signings of Joakim Noah and Courtney Lee, and their trade for Derrick Rose, the Knicks have had the happy assurance that Kristaps Porzingis will be the top prospect of their basketball future.
Porzingis, for his part, is pleased with the changes that have come to his team’s roster. “You have to understand the situation,” he told ESPN’s Ian Begley Saturday. “I’m young, but we don’t have 10 years to win a championship. We got to win soon. So that’s my mindset as well.”
Porzingis also expressed excitement about the uptempo possibilities that come with sharing the floor with Rose who, despite his many injuries and declining shooting percentages, remains one of basketball’s fastest guards in the open floor. “I think we played a little too static [last season],” Porzingis said. “And that’s why it’s great we have a guy like D-Rose who has the ability to push the ball and we got to keep up with him. We have to run the floor. It’s going to be a lot of easy buckets for me if I run the fast break and he’s pushing the ball. He can throw an alley-oop to me so I’m really excited about the idea of playing quicker and faster.”
Increasing the Knicks’ win total while simultaneously fostering a fast development of Porzingis — a futuristic seven-footer with his mobility, coordination, and touch — will be the most important balancing act of new head coach Jeff Hornacek’s first season. It should be fascinating to see if he can handle it.