The Dallas Mavericks have done it again and landed a key star with which to rebuild their franchise in the post-Dirk Nowitzki era. They acquired Kristaps Porzingis, Tim Hardaway Jr., Courtney Lee, Trey Burke from the New York Knicks in exchange for DeAndre Jordan, Dennis Smith Jr., Wesley Matthews
The deal precipitated after Porzingis, who is currently still recovering from surgery to repair a torn ACL, expressed to the Knicks that he wanted to be traded. The move frees up a lot of cap space for the Knicks and they are still hoping to be able to land two superstars in free agency with which to go on their own rebuilding process. It’s a huge gamble on their part, one that leaves them with no guarantees of a future in short-term, which could translate into a protracted multi-year team building process. For now, their future is close to a blank slate, outside of their three key rookies from the 2018 draft of Kevin Knox, Mitchell Robinson, and Allonzo Trier, the Knicks will need those future firsts to pan out in order for them to form a competitive core.
On the Mavericks’ end, the move is all about the Latvian big man. He became a restricted free agent over the summer and will be able to ink a max-deal with them should he decide to stick with them long-term. Porzingis will not be able to get close to as good a deal on another team should he test the open market. The Mavs hope that Luka Doncic and Dirk Nowitzki, who happens to be one of Porzingis’ idols – for obvious reasons, can help sell KP on the team’s blueprint for the future. Surely, the pairing of Doncic and Porzingis will translate into an amazing core with which the Mavericks can build around. Both are still very young and are so gifted athletically and in skill, that they can form a killer one-two punch last seen when Kobe and Shaq led the Lakers to their title run. Tim Hardaway Jr. is a proven scorer and someone who is adept at shooting the three-ball, creating a wide-open spacing on the floor with which both Doncic and Porzingis will have the luxury to operate in.
The Mavericks are in good shape, should Kristaps Porzingis commit to them long-term. The Knicks tried their best to get what they could – cap space and picks – for the disgruntled star and are hoping to attract more established big names to one of the biggest markets in the league. It’s not called the Big Apple for nothing.