Many scouts thought Kristaps Porzingis was the best player in the 2015 NBA draft. Many Knicks fans didn’t think so.
Porzingis was drafted by the Knicks with the fourth overall pick in that draft, and there were three other teams that could have picked Porzingis: the Timberwolves, the Lakers, and the 76ers.
The 76ers are known for one thing nowadays, and that is losing. The 76ers have seven wins as we near the end of January. They selected Jahlil Okafor with the 3rd overall pick, the guy that most Knick fans were calling for during the 2014-2015 season.
It turns out however, the the 76ers were strongly considering drafting Porzingis. The reason they didn’t? Porzingis reportedly refused to meet with the team ahead of the draft, per Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:
(Porzingis’ agent Andy) Miller didn’t make it easy for Philadelphia to draft Porzingis at No. 3. The Sixers wouldn’t be afforded Porzingis’ physical, nor get a private workout, nor even a face-to-face meeting. After most of the pro day executives cleared out of the gym in Vegas in mid-June, 76ers general manager Sam Hinkie lingered to meet with Miller. Hinkie stopped him in the lobby area and asked Miller about a chance to sit down and visit with Porzingis.
“You said that I would get a meeting with him here,” Hinkie told Miller.
“I said, ‘I’d try,’ and it’s not going to work out, Sam,” Miller responded.
An awkward silence lingered, the GM and agent, standing and staring. The Porzingis camp wanted no part of the Sixers’ situation at No 3. Miller couldn’t stop Philadelphia from drafting Porzingis, but he could limit the information they had to make a decision. And did. No physical. No meeting. No workout. The Sixers passed on Porzingis on draft night, clearing the way for the Knicks to select him.
The Knicks received a workout and a interview from Porzingis, including a dinner with Phil Jackson. It makes sense why Porzingis ultimately went to the Knicks.
Porzingis is averaging 14 points, 7.8 rebounds, 2 blocks, and 1.2 assists per game for the Knicks this season.
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