On Fri., Feb. 1, there was a trade that made sparks around the NBA. The New York Knicks traded injured star big-man Kristaps Porzingis to the Dallas Mavericks. The trade was focused around Dennis Smith Jr. of the Mavericks and Porzingis of the Knicks. The Knicks also gave Tim Hardaway Jr and Courtney Lee to the Mavs. The Knicks received DeAndre Jordan and Wesley Matthews, who are expected to leave New York after this season, and two future first-round picks.
The trade makes sense for both sides, as the Knicks get rid of Lee and Hardaway Jr. to clear cap room. Now the Knicks have room for two possible max players this offseason. With big name free agents on the market, such as Kevin Durant and Kawhi Leonard, the Knicks are hoping to become big winners this offseason. Losing Porzingis was not ideal for the Knicks, but acquiring Smith and two future first-rounders gives them a chance to become contenders in the near future if they have a successful offseason.
The Mavs, on the other hand, are receiving an all-star caliber player when healthy. Porzingis fits perfect with rookie Luka Doncic, who is undoubtedly going to be a star in the NBA. The Mavericks also traded Harrison Barnes to the Sacramento Kings on Feb. 7, to clear space for a max free agent of their own this summer. The Mavericks now have two of the brightest young players in the league, along with cap room for a big name free agent. The Mavericks should be in no hurry to acquire a star this offseason, and may wait for next year when big name players, such as Anthony Davis, are available.
This blockbuster deal puts both teams in a position to win in the future. The Knicks have had many struggles over the year and the Porzingis trade could either fix everything or cause more problems. Porzingis was loved around New York City and the loss of him may take a toll on the fans. But with the Knicks tanking this season, there is a chance New York could bring in a guy like Zion Williamson or R.J. Barrett from the NBA draft. A line-up with Williamson and Smith paired with two all-stars would put them in contention for the east. If everything works out, the Knicks may win this trade in the long run, but as of now it looks like the Mavericks are the clear winners of this trade.