Dallas Mavericks: Make Trade for Kristaps Porzingis

Newly acquired Kristaps Porzingis has Mavericks excited for the future. Photo Courtesy: Michael Kolch

By Joel Montgomery

In the first head-turner of transactions to come this imminent trade deadline, the Dallas Mavericks have brought in Kristaps Porzingis and three other New York Knicks teammates in a trade for Dennis Smith Jr, two other Mavericks teammates, and two future first-round picks—as first reported by Shams Charania of TheAthletic.com.
 
The aforementioned Knicks players being sent to Dallas are Trey Burke, Tim Hardaway Jr., and Courtney Lee. In exchange, the Dallas Mavericks are shipping DeAndre Jordan and Wesley Matthews to New York, although they could be potential buyouts due to their expiring contracts.
 
League sources indicate that the entirety of the transaction took place today, and that after Porzingis made it clear he wanted to be traded due to a lack of confidence in franchise direction and culture, they immediately sought out the best deal they could find.
 
While Mavericks fans will likely miss the short-lived experience of the high-flying Smith, a trade seemed all but inevitable after rumors just wouldn’t wither away for several weeks regarding Dallas looking for possible suitors for DSJ. Owner Mark Cuban seemed to have no plans to quell them either, as he even added some premeditated fuel to the fire with his comments about AAU-developed players vs foreign league-developed players last month. 
 
Win for the Knicks
As for the Knicks, there has already been a clear frenzy in the social media world as fans are understandably conflicted. They end up trading the piece they were touting as the shining light of their rebuild… with the main piece they get in return being a player they could have selected in the first round this past draft. Kristaps Porzingis has recently had mighty struggles keeping his body healthy and staying on the court, to the point where calling him injury-prone is no where near a stretch, and with him needing to get paid soon, the Knicks were understandably hesitant in wanting to throw the huge dollars without considering a trade like this. While they did end up giving up someone for a player they could have gotten themselves in the first place, they did end up ridding themselves of some complicated money issues, both present and future. If they want a shot at landing one or more stars this upcoming offseason to turn the franchise around, a move like this was essential.
 
Win fof the Mavericks
From the Mavs’ perspective, they aren’t taking a huge risk here. While it is unfortunate they’re getting rid of a sure-fire paint presence in Jordan, it was a lot of money being paid and it wasn’t a move that could make the team take the true next step it needs. Porzingis is in the final year of his contract next season so he’ll have a year to not only prove he’s healthy, but after that’s accomplished; be able to fit in a new role with Dallas’ ranks. Next to Luka Doncic, the potential is certainly scary if Porzingis can keep himself upright. Burke, Hardaway, and Lee will also be viable as scoring options once they work into Dallas’ rotation.

Both teams come out of this trade relatively risk-free with what they’re currently dealt, and both full with ambition on what their team can do with these transactions a year from now. As time rolls on, we’ll keep track of how this huge trade news could potentially start making magic for both franchises.