Dallas Mavericks pull off blockbuster trade for Porzingis, Knicks clear cap

Mavericks land Porzingis!

Woj bomb incoming! The embattled New York Knicks have made a blockbuster trade with the Dallas Mavericks. The Knicks are sending All-Star power forward Kristaps Porzingis to Dallas along with Courtney Lee, Tim Hardaway Jr., and Trey Burke for Wesley Matthews, DeAndre Jordan, and Dennis Smith Jr. Dallas will also be sending New York two future first-round picks. This comes just hours after Porzingis met with the Knicks organization to discuss his future with the team.

Porzingis is in an unflattering position. He’s missed all of the 2018-19 season after tearing his ACL last season. The Latvian averaged 22.7 points, 1.2 assists, 6.6 rebounds, and 2.4 blocks through 48 games last season. That was enough to earn him an All-Star spot, but just when his career was peaking, he tore his ACL. At this point, he should rest the remainder of the season. There’s absolutely no reason for him to come back, and that’s if he’s even be in the position to play this year, which it doesn’t look like he is.

The Mavericks went in on Porzingis and are hoping to sign him to a long term deal this offseason when he’ll be a restricted free agent. While signing with the Mavericks for the long haul probably isn’t Porzingis’ first choice, the team does have Luka Doncic. Doncic has already emerged as an All-Star and is quickly becoming one of the most beloved players in the league. Dirk Nowitzki will be retiring after this season, but you can bet one of his last jobs with the team will be to push Porzingis to sign that deal. Nowitzki is one of the greatest players in NBA history, his knowledge and presence might be able to sway Porzingis.

The Mavericks are also getting Lee, Hardaway Jr., and Burke. Lee, at 33 years old, is averaging just 4.7 points per game and has only appeared 12 times. Hardaway Jr. is shooting an abysmal .388 from the field, but he is averaging 19.1 points per game. Burke, who really boosted his field goal percentage last year, has declined this season. I’ve got to say, the Mavericks should be able to do something with Hardaway Jr., but otherwise, they got nothing out of this deal except the hope that Porzingis will return to form and sign long term. This whole deal is built around that hope and if Porzingis isn’t able to come back healthy or doesn’t sign, this deal will look pretty bad for Dallas.

The Knicks, besides freeing up cap space to chase players in free agency this offseason, really came out with a lot from this deal. The draft picks will be huge moving forward as the team will presumably try to build itself around whoever they can sign in free agency. Matthews and Jordan will be free agents this offseason, which is how the Knicks will open so much cap room. Neither of those two guys will be in New York long. It is amusing that the Jordan-Dallas saga ended this way. A few years ago, he verbally committed to signing with Dallas, then he returned to the Los Angeles Clippers. Now, Dallas finally got Jordan and they traded him after less than a season.

The one player the Knicks will work with is Smith Jr. He wanted out of Dallas for a little while now, but he could get a fresh start in New York. Smith Jr. scored over 1,000 points last season as a rookie, so he has potential. But, if he gets in the way of New York working with big name free agents, such as Kevin Durant or Kyrie Irving, the team just won’t pick up his 2020 option. That’s the whole point of this deal for the Knicks. They want free agent superstars. You can bet there will be a whole lot of criticism thrown around if the team fails to sign a true star this offseason.

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