Kristaps Porzingis is looking like one of the steals of the 2015 NBA Draft, even though he was selected fourth overall by the New York Knicks. Only Karl-Anthony Towns is having a better rookie season, and he was the consensus choice to go first overall.
That means just two teams passed on Porzingis before he was grabbed by the Knicks, and at least one of them had no choice due to the fact that Porzingis (or more importantly, his agent) wouldn't make the player available either in meetings or in workouts for the Philadelphia 76ers. Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports explains:
The Sixers wouldn't be afforded Porzingis' physical, nor get a private workout, nor even a face-to-face meeting. After most of the pro day executives cleared out of the gym in Vegas in mid-June, 76ers general manager Sam Hinkie lingered to meet with Miller. Hinkie stopped him in the lobby area and asked Miller about a chance to sit down and visit with Porzingis.
"You said that I would get a meeting with him here," Hinkie told Miller.
"I said, 'I'd try,' and it's not going to work out, Sam," Miller responded.
An awkward silence lingered, the GM and agent, standing and staring. The Porzingis camp wanted no part of the Sixers' situation at No 3. Miller couldn't stop Philadelphia from drafting Porzingis, but he could limit the information they had to make a decision. And did. No physical. No meeting. No workout. The Sixers passed on Porzingis on draft night, clearing the way for the Knicks to select him.
An earlier report suggested that ownership wouldn't have picked Porzingis under any circumstances, due to a fear of how the fan base might react to an unknown, tall and skinny player from overseas. But they certainly couldn't afford to risk such a high draft pick on a relative unknown, and it appears as though Porzingis' agent played the game exactly right.
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