Phil Jackson confirms Kristaps Porzingis trade rumors: ‘We have to do what’s best for the club’

New York Knicks president Phil Jackson made an appearance on MSG’s New York Knicks Live to address the state of the franchise and the recent rumors regarding star forward Kristaps Porzingis.

On Tuesday, Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical reported that Jackson has been weighing the possibility of trading Porzingis. Jackson recently met with Arizona forward Lauri Markkanen, who the Knicks could select with the No. 8 overall pick in Thursday’s draft.

The Knicks have received several calls about Porzingis already, according to ESPN’s Ian Begley. Jackson confirmed those calls.

“We’re listening but we’re not intrigued yet at this level,” Jackson told MSG.

Jackson said that in his time coaching that he has never had a player skipped a meeting and was surprised because he’s had a good relationship with Porzingis.

“As much as we love this guy, we have to do what’s best for the club,” Jackson added.

Wojnarowski adds that the Knicks have been shopping Porzingis around for a possible top-four pick to land Josh Jackson.

Porzingis skipped his season-ending exit meeting with the Knicks front office. The Knicks have not made any attempt to reach him while the forward spends his off-season in Europe, according to The Vertical.

Both Chris Mannix of The Vertical and Zach Lowe of ESPN report that teams are skeptical whether the Knicks actually intend to trade Porzingis, given how high their asking prices have been in deals.

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Porzingis finished his second season with the Knicks and is averaging 16.1 points and 7.3 rebounds in his career.

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Chauncey Billups offered Cavaliers’ head of basketball operations position

The Cleveland Cavaliers have made an offer to Chauncey Billups to head their basketball operations department, according to a person with knowledge of the situation, but the former NBA player and current ESPN analyst remains undecided. The person spoke to USA TODAY Sports on the condition of anonymity because of the private nature of the negotiations.

In the wake of the dismissal of general manager David Griffin and senior vice president of basketball operations Trent Redden on Monday, Cavs owner Dan Gilbert wasted no time in finding the top replacement of his choice. Billups, who is known to have discussed the position with the Cavs before they met for two in-person meetings, has no previous front-office experience but was a five-time All-Star as a player and one-time champion, with the Detroit Pistons in 2004.

The Athletic first reported the offer.

According to a person with knowledge of Billups’ thinking, two key factors have been on his mind during this process.

1. LeBron James can be a free agent next summer, and the rumblings continue to grow louder that he just might leave for Los Angeles. He has a home in Los Angeles and an increasing amount of off-court business in Los Angeles. And whether it’s the Lakers or the Clippers, James could decide that his final years will be out West after he returned to his home state to give Cavs fans the franchise’s first title in 2016.

2. Billups is very close friends with Cavs coach Ty Lue, and the challenge of being objectively critical is – not surprisingly – something to consider. What if the Cavs get off to a slow start next season, and Billups finds himself having to ponder the prospect of firing him? It’s not the first time this kind of personal dynamic had to be taken into account, but it’s a factor.

After playing such pivotal parts in the Cavs’ title and their three consecutive Finals appearances, Griffin and Redden had contracts that expired on June 30. Griffin was known to be frustrated that there was no contract extension waiting for him last summer, when the Cavs were on top of the NBA mountain and many of his moves had paid off. Alas, they were shown the door in the most dysfunctional way just days before the official ending came.

With the NBA draft Thursday evening, free agency set to begin July 1, and recent discussions about trading for players such as the Chicago Bulls’ Jimmy Butler, the Cavs are badly in need of some stability on this front. With Griffin and Redden out, and Gilbert always heavily involved, assistant general manager Koby Altman is the top