New York Knicks – Receive Dennis Smith Jr., DeAndre Jordan, Wesley Matthews, two future first-round draft picks[i], and $68 million worth of salary cap space.
Dallas Mavericks – Receive Kristaps Porzingis, Courtney Lee, Trey Burke, Tim Hardaway Jr. and a $12.9 million trade exception.
Ray Spalding is waved to create a roster spot.
Less than 24 hours after a meeting between Kristaps Porzingis and the New York Knicks brain trust regarding the direction of the team, the 7’3″ forward-center was shipped in a salary cap clearing deal to the Dallas Mavericks.
Reports have since surfaced that the Knicks had quietly listened to offers for Porzingis prior to the aforementioned meeting. Clearly, Knicks President Steve Mills and General Manager Scott Perry weren’t satisfied with the outcome and swiftly dealt–with the blessing of Knicks’ owner James Dolan–the one-time all-star. When asked to comment on the trade, Mills shared, “You don’t want to commit a max contract to a player who doesn’t want to be here. That would be a disservice to our fans.”
With the uncertainty behind Porzingis’ health and his impending contract status, it seems the Knicks were unwilling to risk losing their prized “Unicorn” to free agency for nothing. Instead, the pulled the trigger on a deal that yielded high flying point guard Dennis Smith, Jr. (who they should have drafted outright the year before), two expiring contracts (DeAndre Jordan and Wesley Matthews), and potentially cleared $68 million in salary cap space.
Clean books. Draft picks. Blue chip talent.
Man, those words haven’t been synonymous with the Knicks in quite some time.
To paraphrase the words of Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, “It is like having (Dirk) Nowitzki and (Steve) Nash all over again–except that they are taller.” Cuban of course is referring to the pair of Porzingis and rookie sensation Luka Doncic.
However, it is a team-up that may have to wait as it is still unclear if Porzingis will return to action this season as he continues to rehab from a torn Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) in his left knee. There is also a lot of speculation if the 7’3″ Porzingis will sign the Mavericks Qualifying Offer (QO) at season’s end.
The trade also brought in Courtney Lee, Trey Burke, Tim Hardaway Jr. and a $12.9 million trade exception.
[i] According to ESPN’s Zach Lowe, the Knicks will receive the “next available Mavericks unprotected 1st rounder.” If not immediately conveyed, the Knicks would receive Dallas’ 2023, 2024, or 2025 top 10 protected draft pick. If still not conveyed by 2025, Knicks will get the Mavericks 2025 second round pick.