Knicks and Mavs Agree to Blockbuster Trade That Includes Kristaps Porzingis

Feb 02, 2019, 00:35
Knicks and Mavs Agree to Blockbuster Trade That Includes Kristaps Porzingis

The 23-year-old, the No. 4 overall pick in the 2015 National Basketball Association draft, was averaging a career-best 22.7 points 6.6 rebounds, and 2.4 blocks per game before being lost with the injury last season.

"We started to get a feel, we could see that he wasn't completely buying into what we were trying to do", Knicks president Steve Mills said.

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After Thursday's trade, the Knicks could be looking at about $74.6 million in projected cap space for next season, which is good enough to add two max slots, according to ESPN's Bobby Marks.

Apparently, the death of the Dennis Smith Jr. trade rumors were a bit premature. The success of this trade depends entirely on their ability to sign a superstar in free agency, which has historically been a dicey proposition for the Knicks.

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The Knicks and Mavericks have scheduled a trade call with the league office to finalize the deal, sources told ESPN's Ramona Shelburne. Interestingly, New York passed on the player and drafted Frank Ntilikina with the No. 8 overall pick. This also firmly re-aligns the Mavericks timeline around opening a window to contention in two to three years which clarifies all sorts of other impending decisions they'll have to make about their roster. That's a lot of money to commit to someone with Porzingis' injury, potentially without seeing him play beforehand.

The Knicks now have their point guard of the present and future in Dennis Smith Jr. and plenty of cap space this offseason to acquire talent.

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Ultimately, the Knicks were never going to convince Porzingis they could change for the better because, quite frankly, the Knicks, owners of the NBA's worst record the last two decades, never seem to change. Already, there's conflicting information on his intentions in Dallas: The Athletic's Shams Charania reported that Porzingis plans to sign the one-year qualifying offer this summer, making him an unrestricted free agent after the 2019-20 season.