Saturday, February 2, 2019

Knicks Trade Kristaps Porzingis To Mavericks

The New York Knicks traded Kristaps Porzingis, Courtney Lee, Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. to the Dallas Mavericks for Dennis Smith Jr., DeAndre Jordan, Wesley Matthews and two first-round picks. More details are here at  I really like this trade.  After determining Porzingis did not want to stay in New York the Knicks traded him to the Mavs and it could really be a win-win for both teams.  For the Knicks they did three things with this trade - cleared cap space with the acquisitions of Jordan and Matthews who are on expiring deals, received a good young talent in point guard Dennis Smith Jr., and also receive two first round picks allowing them to pick up more young talent moving forward.  What else could they ask for?  The list of free agents this upcoming offseason is sooooo deep.  They should be able to use all that cap space they'll have to grab some quality players.  This team didn't have a clear plan for getting better before this trade.  That changes if they can get a couple of those top 10 players from that list.  That is a big if and if anyone can screw it up the Knicks can...but I'm saying there is a chance...

The Mavericks on the other hand take on all the risk.  Still this could end up going very well.  Porzingis is coming off a torn ACL so there is no guarantee he'll be back to all-star form.  He was such a good player you have to like the idea of pairing him with probable rookie of the year Luka Doncic.  The players they took back will give them some firepower to help out Doncic this year while Porzingis heals.  Porzingis is a restricted free agent next year.  Dallas will look to sign him long term I'm sure.  Porzingis will have to weigh accepting the Mav's qualifying offer and being an unrestricted free agent in 2020 or taking a long term deal.  Does he play one year, waiting on unrestricted free agency and risk getting hurt again or not looking good in 2019-2020?  Dallas also gave up two first round picks.  That seemed excessive to me but we'll have to see where those land and what players New York is able to draft.  

I'd say New York walks away the winner here.  Free cap space and the extra draft picks seem to put them in position to turn it around quickly - if all goes well.  Dallas now has a great talent in Porzingis but he is injured and they have to hope he gets back to his 2017-2018 levels for this to be a win for them and they also need to sign him to a long term deal.  Many "what ifs" on both sides but still it is a fun trade and it is great seeing one of this magnitude before the trade deadline.  Now we wait and see if Anthony Davis is moved next week at the deadline.    

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