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Knicks to work out plan for Porzingis' return

Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis speaks with the media

Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis speaks with the media after his exit interview with Knicks management on April 14. Credit: Richard Harbus

The Knicks will convene for training camp officially next Monday, but a week ahead of it the team outlined the plans for Kristaps Porzingis.

Steve Mills, Scott Perry and David Fizdale spoke with season ticket holders, holding a Town Hall at the Theater at Madison Square Garden Monday, addressed the status of the rehabilitating star. Porzingis, who arrived back in New York Sunday after working overseas on his recovery from a torn ACL in his left knee will meet with team doctors in the coming days.

“Our goal is not to do anything that jeopardizes K.P.’s future as being one of the foundational pieces of this team,” Mills said. "He’s back. we’ll have some medical evaluations of him this week and we’ll start to develop what the right plan is for him to come back. We’re not going to do anything that jeopardizes the future of this franchise and we’re going to be consistent and stay true to that.”

All three spoke about this season being a time focused on player development and Mills, the Knicks team president, said that there would be no rush for Porzingis -- refusing to predict a date when asked if Porzingis could be back by the Christmas Day game against Milwaukee.

While Porzingis was rehabbing his knee, the Knicks spent much of the summer working on repairing the relationship with the team that had been acrimonious last summer when he skipped his exit interview with the team and there were rumblings about entertaining trade offers for the young star.

Fizdale went to Latvia for a week to spend time getting to know Porzingis and Mills said that he and Perry had been in touch via text and phone calls, noting that Porzingis was very engaged in the plans.

For now, those plans center around the young players on the roster like rookies Kevin Knox and Mitchell Robinson and second-year guard Frank Ntilikina, but many of the questions focused on next summer and potential free-agent acquisitions. Mills declared, “We’re not going to trade assets that we can get on our own later,” which brought cheers from the fans who remember the hefty price the Knicks paid to trade for Carmelo Anthony just months ahead of him becoming a free agent.

Fans shouted out names for the team to pursue with Kyrie Irving a prime target. But the Knicks would not look ahead.

“Our main focus is the '18-'19 season,” Perry said. “As much as we talked about having cap space, in all honesty, we are trying not to get too far ahead of ourselves. This team requires our undivided attention. I understand fans drifting to the future. Once it gets to ’19, we can have that conversation.”

New York Sports