We thought the first domino to fall was going to be Anthony Davis. However, in a shocking turn of events, the New York Knicks did the unthinkable and traded Forward Kristaps Porzingis to the Dallas Mavericks. It is a monster deal that includes seven players and a future draft pick. This looks to be the start of a wild trade deadline. So here is how I see this trade.
Grading the Dallas Mavericks, New York Knicks Trade
Dallas gets: PF/C Kristaps Porzingis, SG Tim Hardaway Jr., SG/SF Courtney Lee, and PG Trey Burke
The Mavericks made a huge move to acquire Porzingis. They also got steal in acquiring Tim Hardaway Jr. Porzingis, along with rookie Luka Doncic, will be the cornerstone for the Dallas Mavericks for many years to come. Porzingis wants to see how the Mavs culture is and how the organization is before signing long term, but I think ultimately he will. I think a big positive with Porzingis is the fact he will get to learn from one of the greatest in Dirk Nowitski. If Porzingis can recover from his torn ACL, this deal is a monster steal for Dallas.
I hear a lot of noise about the contract Tim Hardaway is on but while this season he has been up and down, the dude can score. Hardaway will slate into the starting shooting guard spot presumably and be a nice backcourt mate for rookie Luka Doncic. Hardaway averaged almost 20 a game for New York despite shooting under 40% from the field. He does shoot almost 35% from three and will get plenty of open looks in Dallas. He also will not be the main scorer like he was in New York and that should help him with his shot selection. I think this is the steal of this trade.
Courtney Lee obviously was a throw-in because of his $12 million deal. He still has two more seasons on his contract. He could be a main contributor for the Mavs as they are a little thin at the wing right now. Lee should see minutes definitely in the rotation and possibly start at the three right away or down the road. Lee can shoot from the outside, which should compliment Doncic, and displays enough defense for Dallas to get him minutes.
Burke was a late addition to this deal and would provide backup minutes for Dallas or be simply released or bought out. If Burke sticks around, he could be a valuable scoring point off the bench.
New York gets: PG Dennis Smith Jr., C DeAndre Jordan, SG/SF Wesley Mathews, and a future draft pick
The Knicks obviously were not convinced they could resign Porzingis and both were at an impasse. So a deal looked imminent, but it escalated fast with Dallas pursuing him fast. In this deal, the Knicks cleared up what appears to be over $72 million of cap space for the summer of 2019. They are going to be players in the summer free-agent sweepstakes and will hope to land someone. Plus they are likely heading to a top 3 pick and appear to be targeting this summer to turn the franchise around.
Dennis Smith Jr. was not happy with his role with the Dallas Mavericks and will be ready for a new start in New York. In New York, Smith will be given the reigns of the offense and become the lead guard of the future. The Knicks have struggled to find a point guard and have settled on Emmanuel Mudiay for the time being, but Smith is an upgrade over the platoon of point guards the Knicks have used this season. If Smith can reach his potential in New York, the Knicks will be elated.
DeAndre Jordan is on a one year deal and likely not in the Knicks future plans. They want his ending contract to come off the books freeing up money for bigger free agents. Not sure New York will even keep him after this deal, possibly buying him out and cutting him. I believe the Knicks want to get a top three pick and lose games, therefore retaining Jordan is highly unlikely, but if they do keep him I am sure he will start at center. Will be interesting to see how or if they use Jordan.
Wes Matthews also comes with a contract in the last year and could be a candidate also for a buyout. If he stays with the Knicks for the remainder of the year, he could start at the two for New York. One thing is for certain he was obtained to free up more money for this off season. Not sure yet what the protwections are, but the Knicks also landed two first round picks in this deal.
The Mavs are taking a huge gamble with this deal but clearly are surrounding Doncic with players who will help him. For the Knicks, they got huge money for summer, a top three pick likely and two future first as well. The more I think about it, the Knicks are setting themselves up for a possible good future but I can’t give them a higher grade than Dallas without knowing if they will get two big name free agents. Grades: Dallas A-/New York B
Main Photo: Embed from Getty Images