NBA: New York Knicks Taking Giant Leap of Faith With Kristaps Porzingis Trade
Anthony Davis has without a doubt been the talk of the league over the past week. Everyone is on pins and needles waiting to see where the superstar big man will get traded to. Davis wasn’t traded Thursday but another standout big man was. It was the unicorn Kristaps Porzingis, forward/center for the New York Knicks. A trade that could be the turning point for the franchise in either a good or bad way.
The whole situation pretty much happened in a matter of hours. Early Thursday afternoon Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted out that Knicks management and Porzingis had met and that Kristaps had voiced concerns about the direction of the team. The 7’3″ Porzingis, from Latvia, is currently rehabbing an ACL injury he sustained last season. The Knicks are also unofficially tanking in order to get a top 3 pick in the draft. Woj reported that the Knicks were shopping Porzingis minutes after his initial tweet. And then, like a bolt of lightning it happened.
Kristaps Porzingis left the Knicks with the impression that he prefers to be traded, league sources tell @ramonashelburne and me. Knicks are expected to commence discussions on moving him ahead of next Thursday's deadline.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 31, 2019
The Knicks and Dallas Mavericks reached a deal late in the afternoon. The Knicks would send Kristaps Porzingis, Courtney Lee, Tim Hardaway Jr., and Trey Burke to the Mavericks. In return, the Knicks received Wesley Matthews, DeAndre Jordan, Dennis Smith Jr., a 2021 unprotected first-round pick and a 2023 protected first-round pick (1-10). An ironic part of this trade is that the Knicks get Dennis Smith Jr. whom they skipped over in last year’s draft to select Frank Ntlikina.
What this move does is show the Knicks are all in for free agency this upcoming summer. New York had been looking to clear Lee and Hardaway’s contracts off their books to clear up space for max free agents (FAs). Jordan and Matthews each have expiring contracts which the Knicks may buy out in the near future. The Knicks will have over $73M in cap space this summer. Enough to sign two FAs to max deals. Now the interesting thing about this whole situation is that the plan, coming into this season, was to use Porzingis and the potential #1 overall pick as a pitch to marquee FAs. Now, with KP gone, the Knicks are taking a huge gamble on not only drafting a Zion Williamson or R.J. Barrett but also alluring a Kevin Durant or Kyrie Irving to New York.
The Knicks could be staring at $74.6M in projected cap space for next season. That would be good enough for 2 max slots.
— Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) January 31, 2019
Indeed, this trade has a very sink or swim feel to it. However, if all goes well the Knicks will begin next season with Zion Williamson, Dennis Smith Jr., and 2 max stars. Although, if it goes south the Knicks could end up with a draft pick outside the top 3 and no superstar FA. In fact, it could be eerily similar to the 2010 free agency when the Knicks cleared enough space to sign LeBron James and he ended up going to Miami. The Knicks ended up signing Amar’e Stoudemire to a 5 year/$99.7M contract. The return on investment was not worth it.
A few days ago Knicks fans were wrestling with the idea of possibly trading Porzingis for Anthony Davis. Porzingis is now gone as part of a salary dump and the team is left with just a hope and dream for the future. And for the sake of the Knicks organization and fan base, you hope this dream doesn’t turn into a nightmare.
What are your thought on the New York Knicks trading Kristaps Porzingis? Leave a comment below.
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