New York Knicks: Five predictions for second half of 2018-19

New York Knicks David Fizdale (Photo by Kathryn Riley/Getty Images)
New York Knicks David Fizdale (Photo by Kathryn Riley/Getty Images) /
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New York Knicks
New York Knicks Kristaps Porzingis (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images) /

4. Kristaps Porzingis not cleared to return for rest of season

In February, the New York Knicks provided an official timetable for Kristaps Porzingis, but for his re-evaluation timetable; the team will check on his rehabbing knee in mid-February. No return date to the court was given, but that can change once the medical staff takes a look.

While Porzingis’ return gives the Knicks perhaps their only “win” of the season — for team morale only — it presents more risk than reward in a lost year for this franchise.

Porzingis may want to play now, but for what? The Knicks will not make the playoffs. If he re-aggravates the injured knee in a meaningless game, it raises questions on why they chose to bring him back, as well as setting the franchise back another year.

For the man himself, he’s primed for a four-year, maximum-salary contract as a restricted free agent. Players before him, like Isaiah Thomas, have ruined their chances of a big payday by returning too early, and he came back when the Boston Celtics were winning.

For Porzingis to ruin those chances losing, it has the chance to deteriorate his promising career. Sure, rust there will be rust upon return in October, but that’s when the Knicks have a clean slate and a new roster to work with, since half their roster will hit free agency.