New York Knicks president Phil Jackson said he wants to keep Kristaps Porzingis, though the NBA team will listen to offers for the star centre.
The Knicks selected Porzingis with the fourth overall pick of the 2015 NBA Draft. The 21-year-old Latvian has averaged 16.1 points and 7.3 rebounds through his first two seasons and is considered one of the NBA's elite rising stars.
That is why Jackson said it would take a big offer for the Knicks to even consider dealing a player the team boss referred to as a "unicorn."
"We're listening but we're not intrigued yet," Jackson told MSG on Wednesday. "As much as we love this guy, we have to do what's good for our club."
"Does it [a trade] bring us two starters and a draft pick, or something that's even beyond that? It's something we have to look at," Jackson added. "We know what he is. He's a unicorn and he's special."
Jackson also called veteran forward Carmelo Anthony special, but said the Knicks are trending younger and it "might be time" for the 33-year-old to find an opportunity elsewhere.
Jackson did say he believes the Knicks can get a "productive player" with starter potential if they keep their current draft pick of eighth overall. Porzingis could be part of a potential trade to move up.
Trade speculation began swirling in April when Porzingis, reportedly frustrated at the state of the franchise, skipped his season-ending exit interview.
"As much as we value Kristaps and what he's done for us, when a guy doesn't show up for his exit meeting, everybody starts speculating on his duration with the club," Jackson said. "We're getting calls.
"I don't think I've ever had a player, over 25 years of coaching, not coming to an exit meeting. It's not happened to me. I know it happens to other people and other players. I know his brother and agent downplayed it. It's a chance for a person to express himself. I had a good relationship with Kristaps over the last two years, so it was kind of surprising."
Jackson said he has reached out to Porzingis to repair the relationship with the team's star player, but said, "We'll get it back."
"I think we know what we're doing, although it's not been apparent in our record," Jackson said. "We've grown from within. We've got young players that are on their move up. It takes time to rebuild with youth. We're going to have good players and have a good team."