GREENBURGH, N.Y. — New coach Jeff Hornacek believes the Knicks aren’t that far off from being a playoff team and can see Kristaps Porzingis developing into one of the best players in the league.
“I don’t want to put pressure on the kid, but let’s face it, at that size, and his skills, and his abilities, why can’t he be a Top 5 player in this league?” Hornacek said during his introductory news conference on Friday. “Why can’t he be the best player in this league?
“He’s 20 years old. He’s got a lot of things he’ll learn just from experience and I’m sure five to six years from now, you’ll be saying, ‘Look how good this kid is.’ He’s already good.”
Hornacek also called Carmelo Anthony “a superstar” and if the Knicks continue to build around him and improve in other areas, they could end their three-year playoff drought.
“I think anytime you’ve got a superstar, I think that gives you a chance, and we have that in Carmelo,” Hornacek said. “It’s just a matter of building around him at other levels. I don’t think we’re that far off.
“There’s a lot of money on the free-agent market that’s out there. We have to try to maybe get a couple of these guys to help us out. We’re always looking to get better players, and if you have five All-Stars on your team, you’d be set. But you have one on the team, you have one that maybe will develop . . . and hopefully you get one or two guys in free agency.”