The New York Knicks have agreed to trade All-Star power forward Kristaps Porzingis to the Dallas Mavericks. Early in the day there were multiple reports that Porzingis had informed Knicks brass of his issues with the team and its long-term plans. This was followed by reports the Knicks explore trades for him leading up to the deadline.
However, nobody expected a deal to be consummated this quickly.
First there was this:
Then there was this:
Sources: New York and Dallas have agreed in principle on a trade sending package around Kristaps Porzingis for Dennis Smith Jr. Wes Matthews, other contracts, and picks going to New York, and Tim Hardaway Jr., Trey Burke among players going to Dallas. Sides finishing final terms.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) January 31, 2019
And finally we got this:
Sources: Full players involved in Knicks/Mavericks deal:— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) January 31, 2019
Kristaps Porzingis, Tim Hardaway Jr., Courtney Lee, Trey Burke to Dallas.
Dennis Smith Jr., Wes Matthews, DeAndre Jordan and likely first-round draft pick compensation to New York.
Boy, that escalated quickly.
Porzingis departs New York after an acrimonious three-and-a-half year tenure with the Knicks. Murmurs of discontent first emerged when he infamously skipped an exit interview following the 2016-17 season. Then-team president Phil Jackson listened to offers for the Latvian leading up to the 2017 NBA Draft, but ultimately nothing came to fruition.
After Jackson’s departure it seemed that the relationship between the presumed franchise player and the front office had been repaired, but over the last few months, new murmurs of Porzingis frustration emerged. While many (myself included) dismissed this as negotiating tactics, clearly there was fire to go with all the smoke.
The Knicks will now be armed with beacoup cap space this summer.
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
Go big or go home, it seems.
Also, perhaps far more shocking was Shams’ final bit of news regarding the deal.
Sources: All-Star Kristaps Porzingis is planning to inform the Dallas Mavericks his intent is to sign the qualifying offer in restricted free agency this summer.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) January 31, 2019
There had been veiled threats that Porzingis would take this route, but coming off of an ACL tear and turning down the type of guaranteed money he can lock in this summer seemed fanciful. It seems many (myself included again, so don’t ever listen to me idiots!) were wrong to doubt Porzingis’ conviction in himself.
The Knicks’ focus for the remainder of the season, barring any more unforeseen, Earth-shattering moves, will be to develop the remaining young core and prepare for the summer.
Get ready. Hot takes are coming.