New York Knicks star Kristaps Porzingis’ issues with head coach Jeff Hornacek was the reason why he skipped his exit meeting after the regular season and traveled to Latvia for a long vacation. According to long-time NBA columnist Peter Vecsey, the issue surfaced after Hornacek ordered forward Willy Hernangomez to tell Porzingis to “stop playing like a p---y.” Hornacek’s statement caused Porzingis to skip the team’s exit meeting and head to his home country for much-needed rest. According to Vecsey, Hornacek and Porzingis cleared the air and are now back on speaking terms.

Earlier, it was reported that Porzingis skipped the exit meeting to express his dismay over the Knicks shabby treatment of superstar Carmelo Anthony and his dissatisfaction over how then-president Phil Jackson was running the team. Having a good relationship with Porzingis is crucial if the Knicks want to snap their four-year playoff drought. Last season, the 22-year-old Porzingis averaged 18.1 points, 7.2 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game and he is expected to step up as the team’s cornerstone with Anthony’s future with the Knicks still uncertain. The Knicks are looking to trade Anthony to the Houston Rockets.

Porzingis almost traded for No. 1 pick

Like Anthony, Porzingis was the subject of trade rumors in the offseason.

In a separate report, Vecsey told Alex Kennedy of HoopsHype that Jackson, before he was fired as Knicks president, floated the idea of trading Porzingis to the Boston Celtics for the No. 1 pick. Vecsey said Jackson planned on using the No. 1 pick to take Lonzo Ball. However, no deal materialized as the Celtics shipped the No.

1 pick to the Philadelphia 76ers, who used it to take point guard Markelle Fultz. Ball, for his part, was selected No. 2 by the Los Angeles Lakers. The Knicks ended up using their No. 8 pick on playmaker Frank Ntilikina. Also, the 76ers, Phoenix Suns, and the San Antonio Spurs inquired with the Knicks about a possible trade for Porzingis.

Cavaliers also eyed Porzingis for Irving

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the Knicks also expressed willingness to trade Porzingis to the Cleveland Cavaliers for All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving. However, the deal hit a snag as the Knicks wanted the Cavs to take in the remaining three years and $55 million on center Joakim Noah’s contract. Before he was traded to the Boston Celtics, Irving named the Knicks as one of his four preferred trade destinations. The Knicks later clarified that Porzingis would not be traded.