If you were thinking that Kristaps Porzingis might be able to shed light on whether he’d play this season during his appearance at New York Knicks media day, well, here’s the thing: You thought wrong.
Although Kristaps didn’t rule out playing this year as he recovers from a torn left ACL, he wouldn’t commit to a return either.
“The timetable is there is no timetable,” he said. “Whenever I’m ready I’m going to be back.” He says his leg is getting stronger and he’s doing some stuff on the court already. But that’s about it for updates.
Porzingis: “I’m running. It’s a progression. I’m not sprinting yet but I’m running. Every day is a little something new.”
Kristaps Porzingis asked if there’s a chance he sits out the whole season recovering from his torn ACL: “It’s really hard to say. There’s no timetable, as I said. I am going to be back when I’m healthy and I am medically cleared.”
In a vacuum, it almost behooves the Knicks to hold out Porzingis for the entire year—or at least until the very end of the season, in an attempt to help him regain his game legs before next season. Going this route boosts the value of their draft pick and makes it easier to test the ceilings of the other kiddies, namely Trey Burke and Frank Ntilikina.
But the 2019 offseason complicates matters. Porzingis is a restricted free agent, and it will be hard to figure out or bankroll his price point if he doesn’t play this year. The Knicks also have designs on signing another star, and it’s unclear whether Porzingis would still be a selling point if he spends all of 2018-19 on the shelf.
All of which makes his recovery something to monitor. Porzingis surely won’t return before Christmas, or even before the calendar flips to 2019. After that, how the Knicks and Porzingis himself handle his rehab and availability is anyone’s guess.