New York fans blindsided by Porzingis trade to the Mavericks
On Thursday morning, Kristaps Porzingis met with the front office of the New York Knicks to discuss the direction of the team and his role in it. Prior to Thursday, there seemed to be no plans that even considered moving Porzingis. However, after the meeting, the Knicks seemed certain that Porzingis no longer wanted to remain in New York. Thus, by Thursday afternoon, Kristaps Porzingis was dealt to the Dallas Mavericks. That’s not all, though. Along with KP, the Knicks are planning on dealing Courtney Lee, Tim Hardaway Jr., and Trey Burke in exchange for DeAndre Jordan, Wesley Matthew, and Dennis Smith Jr. Future draft picks may also be inked into the deal.
Where did this deal even come from?
Speculation approaching the trade deadline played with the idea that Porzingis could end up in San Antonio. No one from New York wanted to believe that, though, especially the Knicks’ front office. Tim Hardaway Jr. and Courtney Lee, on the other hand, have not been strangers to trade rumors. Even Enes Kanter’s name has been circulating the rumor pool, but there was no indication that the Knicks were seriously considering Porzingis. Now that the deal is in its final steps, the Knicks are going to look very differently for the rest of this season.
Let’s talk about the Knicks.
The Knicks have been focusing on a rebuild this season, and it has been a slow process. To make things more difficult, Porzingis has been out all season with an ACL injury. In his absence Hardaway Jr. stepped up as the team’s leading scorer, but has struggled to remain consistent. All the while, the team has fought to find a consistent ball handler as well as inside protection. In those regards, this trade has the prospect of elevating the Knicks.
DeAndre Jordan has built his career on his phenomenal rim protection and his offense in the paint. Smith Jr, on the other hand, has developed into a solid point guard, who simply couldn’t work with Luka Doncic. Moreover, though he hasn’t been as productive this season, Matthews has established himself as a shooter and a scorer. However, even with all three on the roster, the team now lacks a true offensive focal point, which can still hurt them in the long run.
More concerning, however, is that both Jordan and Matthews have expiring contracts, which means that there is no guarantee that either will remain with the team past this season. The only person from this trade who will definitely still be in the Garden next season is Smith Jr. While this move may create enough space for the team to land a superstar in the offseason, there is no guarantee that the team will be able to secure one. Unless the Knicks can bring in a superstar, there is no reason to believe that Jordan or Matthews won’t bolt at the first chance. Thus, it is fair to say the Knicks’ future is up in the air right now.
What about the Mavericks?
The Mavericks have now paired their future star, Luka Doncic, with another European powerhouse in the form of Porzingis. It also can’t be overlooked that this trade puts Porzingis right next to the man he’s been compared to his whole career, Dirk Nowitzki. Chances are that if Porzingis likes what he sees, he may stay in Dallas, and continue to build on the legacy that Nowitzki has paved. Moreover, now with Hardaway Jr. and Porzingis alongside Doncic the Mavericks will not be pressed to find offense if Porzingis returns this season.
Contracts, once again, have to also be considered. Similar to the Knicks, the only player the Mavericks got that will be guaranteed to stay is Tim Hardaway Jr. Porzingis will be a free agent this summer and Burke’s contract will be expiring. However, as previously stated, the Mavericks have a very good chance of keeping Porzingis and building towards the future. Thus, the Mavericks may have won this trade.
It is not an understatement that fans everywhere have been blind sided by this move. Porzingis was a fan favorite and the face of this franchise. However, in today’s NBA, disgruntled franchise players are dealt all the time. Thus, while shocking, this trade may have been inevitable. At least this way, the Knicks got something instead of nothing. Yet, fans have a right to be concerned for the future of this franchise. Over the course of the next few months this city will see the ripples of this deal.