Well, that was fast! Thursday morning, Kristaps Porzingis let the Knicks’ brass know he was frustrated with the direction of the team and by Thursday afternoon, he was a Knick no more. New York will bring back Dennis Smith Jr. and clear a bunch of salary in the deal by receiving the expiring contracts of DeAndre Jordan and Wesley Matthews, while sending Tim Hardaway Jr. and Courtney Lee to the Mavericks. The Knicks also get two, future, first-round picks from the Mavericks. Two years ago, the Knicks passed on Dennis Smith Jr.
The Mavericks look at Porzingis as the new Dirk as thy have similar skill sets. Porzingis has career averages of 17.8 points and 7.1 rebounds. The Mavs have given Luka Dončić a co-star to build around for the next decade. For the Knicks, it’s about creating cap room to chase two, maximum-salary, free agents this summer. The Knicks have close ties to Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving as future Knicks. Severing the relationships with Porzingis was a must with a player who reportedly has been dissatisfied with the direction of the organization. He also would’ve turned free agents away with his attitude toward the team.
This is a huge gamble for the Mavs as Porzingis has been out for a year with an ACL injury. The Mavericks are currently 23-27, 12th in the Western Conference. As loaded as the West is, there’s almost no chance they’ll make the playoffs. Even if Porzingis returns this season, he and Dončić could be a dangerous tandem, but that’ll have to wait until next season. The West has been put on notice the Mavs look to return to the top of the mountain. This is the first piece of the NBA trade puzzle as Feb. 7 is approaching soon. Let the NBA trading war begin!