I don’t know if the title can properly demonstrate my shock and amazement that I had over the course of an hour. I was so in shock that @soft7juice had to take the reins on breaking the news of the trade for me while I finished up at work.
…but Jesus Christ man, this is amazing.
First of all, I would be remiss if I did not list the trade in order to fully dissect it because…well this is a blockbuster to say the least:
Knicks Receive – C DeAndre Jordan (1 yr/$22.9 mil), SG Wes Matthews (1 yr/$18.6 mil), PG Dennis Smith, Jr. (2 yrs/$8.6 mil + 1 yr/$5.7 mil team option) + two lightly protected first round draft picks (which transfer year by year if not conveyed at listed dates)
Mavs Receive – PF/C Kristaps Porzingis (1 yr/$5.7 mil + RFA rights), SG Courtney Lee (2 yrs/$25 mil), PG Trey Burke (1 yr/$1.8 mil), SG/SF Tim Hardaway, Jr. (2 yrs/$35.5 mil + 1 yr/$19 mil player option)
First off, let’s go into why the Knicks did this, and while it does not absolve them of everything that has been done, it does explain why this deal occurred.
The Knicks have said multiple times that their goal this offseason was to make a big splash in the free agency. They never once talked about building around KP. They never once have talked about resigning KP. They also have never said whether or their plans for the future even involved KP. Therefore, when the rumors began coming out the KP was actually healthy and could be playing this season (but they weren’t to tank and get a better draft pick), it was bound to create friction. You can’t exist in that system. It is essentially a fantasy world that they created in order to “have their cake and eat it too.”
We can go into how many GMs try and get rid of players who are not “their guys,” and the same could be said with what the Knicks are going through. While I personally thought that they could not trade away KP before Frank Ntilikina, I expect both now to be gone in the near future.
But why make the trade?
Simple: KP said he wanted out. In a team meeting this afternoon, KP met with the Knicks organization to discuss the future of this team, and the direction they were going in. What resulted was Porzingis telling them he hated everything about their plan and requesting a trade. They traded him within an hour to…the Mavs?
I was just as skeptical when the report came out. I had heard rumblings that the Raptors, Pelicans, and Hawks were major players. But the Mavs could offer the Knicks something better than those three teams could offer: expiring salaries and a PG of the future.
With Kyrie announcing that he holds no love for the Boston organization and will make his FA choice on the first day of the FA, the Knicks (if the can move Frank Ntilikina and Lance Thomas) will have over $75 million to play with in this free agency. Yes, you read that right. $75 MILLION! That gives them enough money to buy the services of two super-max players…like Kemba/Kyrie and KD. Again, this is very much on line for what their plans were heading into the 2019 FA. Hell, they still have their pick in this draft, AND they future picks, AND they also have the Mavs lightly protected picks as well.
So yes, you can argue that the Knicks not only did something smart, but also have a bright future.
Now the Mavs, on the other hand, eliminated themselves from the derby that will be the 2019 FA. Of course, this is somewhat in part to the fact that not a single player has expressed interest in playing in Dallas.
Like, no joke, go look back. Not a single player has said that they could (or would) play in Dallas.
So, operating under the logical assumption that they would not get any of the top-tier FAs, they decided to cash in on a fringe star that wishes to move on from his team. While I do believe they may have overpaid a tad, this is a risk many would have taken. Courtney Lee and Tim Hardaway, Jr. will help them lose games or win (if they wish to win out), but the important thing the Mavs did was paint them as a destination for 2020 and 2021. Harrison Barnes (if he opts into his player option in this offseason), Dwight Powell, and Courtney Lee all come off the books in 2020, which will give the Mavs about $40 million to play with. This is not factoring in KP’s extension he will sign (since he would be stupid to accept his qualifying offer).
The Mavs and Knicks both won the trade as I look at it right now. Of course, we are talking about the Knicks, so they may sh*t the bed this offseason and not be able to do anything with said money. They also probably will take the wrong player in the draft (again). But the Mavs also took a huge gamble on a fringe All-Star that hasn’t played this season, tore his ACL, and has been hurt twice. Who knows, maybe they both lose. All in all, I like this trade.
Also helps I won $200 betting that Porzingis got traded before AD. So drinks on me this weekend if ya can find me bois. Cheers!