SAN ANTONIO – When Kristaps Porzingis was with the Knicks, Nets rookie Rodions Kurucs couldn’t help but see his fellow Latvian as a role model and an inspiration for what he might achieve in his NBA career. But like many others, Kurucs seemed stunned by the news on Thursday that the Knicks had traded their erstwhile franchise player to the Mavericks saying Porzingis had asked to be traded.
“It was his decision, hard decision,” Kurucs said of Porzingis. “Maybe he wanted [a trade], I don’t know. It was his decision. I can’t tell you anything more about it.”
Asked how surprising it was to see the Knicks give up on him in exchange for salary cap room and two future first-round draft picks, Kurucs said, “They have a plan, so they stick to it. They knew he was going to be a free agent in 2020.
“I don’t know what to say about. It’s his decision, hard decision. We’ll see. I think it will be a better situation for him. He’ll have good teammates there, and I think he’ll be happy there.”
In Dallas, Porzingis might not even be the best Latvian since rookie Luka Doncic is regarded as something of a prodigy. When Kurucs was asked how it feels to be the best Latvian now in New York, he laughed it off, saying, “I won’t answer that question.”