New York Knicks: Ranking every NBA Draft Lottery pick

(Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
(Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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New York Knicks
New York Knicks Kristaps Porzingis (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) /

2. Kristaps Porzingis (2015)

Perhaps the most controversial of any New York Knicks lottery pick, Kristaps Porzingis was once this franchise’s savior and the heir apparent to Carmelo Anthony. His 7-foot-3 frame and shooting ability teased the next Dirk Nowitzki. For two-plus seasons, that was the case, until a torn ACL in the February 2018.

New York’s outlook changed immediately. They went from a team on the rise to back to square one, as Porzingis had to rehab a career-altering ailment. Little did anyone know that disparaging winter night would become his last game for the Knicks.

By Jan. 31, 2019, Porzingis asked for a trade and was sent to the Dallas Mavericks as part of a multi-player deal. The Knicks received Dennis Smith Jr., DeAndre Jordan, Wesley Matthews, two first-round picks and the illustrious cap space to sign free agents in a historic class.

If the Knicks can snag a Kevin Durant or Kyrie Irving on the open market, it makes this deal look grander, and it hinges on how healthy Porzingis returns to the court in 2019-20.

However, this was not a disappointing selection by the former president of basketball operations, Phil Jackson. He took an international man of mystery at fourth overall, and this already proved to be one of 2015’s best selections, trade or not. If that Nowitzki potential continues upon return, Porzingis’ stock will only rise.