Knicks power forward Kristaps Porzingis drives against Celtics center Aron Baynes on Dec. 22, 2017, at Madison Square Garden.

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Mills: Porzingis Gave Knicks Ultimatum Before Being Traded

May 23, 2019 - 10:25 am
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By WFAN.com

Knicks president Steve Mills said Wednesday that Kristaps Porzingis threatened to return to Europe if the Knicks did not trade him within a week.

Mills described the conversation while speaking at a Knicks fan forum. He said Porzingis told him and general manager Steve Perry: "Guys, I don't want to be here, I'm not going to re-sign with the Knicks, and I'm going to give you seven days to trade me or I'm going back to Europe."

The Knicks, of course, granted Porzingis his wish, dealing him, Tim Hardaway Jr., Courtney Lee and Trey Burke to the Dallas Mavericks in exchange for Dennis Smith Jr., two future first-round picks and the expiring contracts of center DeAndre Jordan and swingman Wesley Matthews. 

Mills and Perry moved Porzingis just hours after reports surfaced saying Porzingis had voiced his frustration about the direction of the franchise to the executives. But Mills explained that they had started looking into potential trades for Porzingis as early as September. Those conversations allowed them to quickly make a trade.

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In other Porzingis news, the Dallas Mavericks have reportedly concluded their investigation into a fight involving the All-Star power forward earlier this month outside a nightclub in his native Latvia. The team has chalked up the incident to Porzingis being "in the wrong place at the wrong time," The Dallas Morning News reported Thursday.

A group of Russian men reportedly attacked Porzingis because they were upset he switched teams. Video of the aftermath of the incident showed an agitated Porzingis with a bloddied forehead and torn shirt, pushing someone out of the way and approaching a group of men before several people stopped him and urged him to calm down.

One report said Porzingis might have broken his hand in the incident, but a source told The Dallas Morning News that his hands are fine.

Porzingis, 23, has not played in an NBA games since tearing a ligament in his left knee in what turned out to be his final game for the Knicks in February 2018.