Kristaps Porzingis has urged the New York Knicks to keep Carmelo Anthony as they need the nine-time All-Star to do "big things in the future."
Anthony's name was reportedly tossed around in trade conversations before last week's deadline, and this week spoke of his frustration with the lack of success in New York.
But Porzingis says the Knicks can ill afford to let his team-mate Anthony move on.
"Obviously, I wouldn't want to lose him," Porzingis is quoted as saying in the New York Post. "He is who he is on our team, he's very special, and we need him to do big things in the future, especially for me. ... I love playing alongside him, so that would obviously not be something that I want."
Anthony, 31, gladly accepted a mentor role with Porzingis, 20, and has helped the 7-3 Latvian to an encouraging rookie season (14.1 points, 7.4 rebounds per game).
Despite the team's recent struggles, Porzingis said Anthony is "just staying together, staying strong, working hard."
Porzingis added: "Obviously, deep inside, you're frustrated, but [Anthony's] not showing that so I think he's been a great leader. He's very professional. He knows what he's doing. Obviously, we all know he's frustrated, and we're frustrated, but he's not showing it."
The Knicks' recent slump has them sitting at 24-35 and 6 1/2 games out of the final play-off spot in the Eastern Conference.