When Kristaps Porzingis was about 13 years old, his brother asked about his motivation for playing basketball.

“I want to make money,” Porzingis responded.

The older brother, Janis, who is always grooming and preparing Porzingis for stardom, jumped to the inevitable next step.

“He said, ‘When you make money, where are you going to find the motivation?’” Porzingis, the son of a bus driver in Latvia, recalled. “So I started thinking about it. From that point on, I just changed my mindset where for me, it’s not about the money. If I do the right thing and I play the right way and I have the vision of who I want to be, then the money is going to come. And all that is going to come with winning.”

The money for Porzingis — the real upper echelon NBA money — could be guaranteed soon. Or not. It depends on the Knicks, more than anything, because this season is also about convincing a star player there’s hope while losing.

In less than nine months, Porzingis is eligible for the designated rookie scale maximum extension, the same one Joel Embiid and Andrew Wiggins just signed at five years, $148 million apiece.