NBA Rumors: Phil Jackson Wanted To Trade Kristaps Porzingis To Land Lonzo Ball?By Ryan Ward
The New York Knicks went through some drastic changes recently. The team parted ways with NBA royalty in Phil Jackson and decided to move forward with Scott Perry as their general manager.
Apparently, before the team fired Jackson, the Hall of Famer wanted to trade the team’s best player, Kristaps Porzingis, for the No. 1 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. If the trade went through, Jackson had his sights set on drafting Lonzo Ball out of UCLA, according to Peter Vecsey via Bryan Kalbrosky of Hoops Hype:
“People knew, they probably wouldn’t have accepted, but Phil was angling to try and trade Porzingis for the No. 1 pick to Boston and he would have taken [Lonzo] Ball. That’s who he was after. In the end, people might really like that.”
Ultimately, Ball ended up getting drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers with the second pick in the draft. The Boston Celtics, who initially had owned the top pick in the draft, made a trade with the Philadelphia 76ers and went with Jayson Tatum out of Duke while Markelle Fultz was taken No. 1 overall.
Obviously, had Jackson had his way, the Knicks, Lakers, 76ers, and Celtics would’ve looked much different. Ball already looks like the savior in Los Angeles while the Knicks continue to try and build around Porzingis.
With Jackson now unemployment, it will be interesting to see what his next step is and whether he may have finally had enough of the NBA and all that it entails being part of a front office or coaching on the sidelines.