In 2016, Kevin Durant famously called then-rookie Kristaps Porzingis a “unicorn.” "He can shoot, he can make the right plays, he can defend, he's a 7-footer that can shoot all the way out to the 3-point line,” said Durant. “That's rare.”
By most metrics, it seemed like Durant was right. Porzingis scored an average of 22.7 points per game for the New York Knicks, and was even voted an NBA All-Star in 2018.
That was until almost a year ago, however, when Porzingis suffered an ACL injury that kept him off the court for the entirety of the season. Now the team has the worst record in the NBA.
And, to make matters worse, the Knicks are losing their “unicorn,” and willingly, in the hopes of gaming their way into a top draft pick and dumping enough salary to court free agents next season..
Instead of waiting for Porzingis to heal, the team has reportedly agreed to trade him to the Dallas Mavericks.
The Philadelphia 76ers’ Joel Embiid probably summed up the collective reaction best:
Porzingis’ teammate Enes Kanter sent his love:
But was still mind-blown by the decision:
Others, including The Daily Beast’s own Noah Shachtman, bemoaned the team’s fate.