Knicks shock the NBA and trade Kristaps Porzingis to the Mavs
February 1, 2019
The New York Knicks officially announced they have traded Kristaps Porzingis to the Dallas Mavericks today.
In addition to Porzingis, the Mavericks receive Courtney Lee, Tim Hardaway Jr., and Trey Burke. The Knicks get the following in return: Dennis Smith Jr., DeAndre Jordan, Wesley Matthews and two first round draft picks.
The trade shocked many around the league, including Porzingis’ former teammates.
Not long before the trade Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Porzingis was frustrated with the losing culture at the Knicks, and sought to be traded before the upcoming deadline.
The Knicks currently have the worst record in the league, and this trade seems to indicate their desire to go all-in on tanking for the first overall pick in this year’s draft. Most assumed the Knicks would simply rest Porzingis this year as he recovers from an ACL injury in order to keep losing and secure a top-3 pick in the draft.
The trade finally shows a willingness for the Knicks to clear cap space and secure a star in free agency, as well as finding a young star in the draft. If the Knicks get the first overall pick in the draft, they will likely take college-sensation Zion Williamson. Zion may be the most promising athlete to enter the NBA since LeBron James. The Knicks are effectively betting on acquiring Zion in the draft with this trade. They will then likely use that lure of a young superstar to acquire a star player in free agency, potentially Kevin Durant or Kyrie Irving, both of whom have expressed interest in playing in New York.
That is a sizeable risk to trade your one All-Star level player for a chance at Durant, Irving, and Zion, with no guarantees that they will have any of those players after this coming offseason. But, if it pays off, we may look back on this moment as franchise-defining for the New York Knicks: a franchise that have historically struggled to create any longevity of success.