The first big trade before NBA’s trade deadline happened yesterday. This trade collectively broke the hearts of New York Knicks fans all over the country.
The New York Knicks agreed to trade All-Star forward Kristaps Porzingis, along with Tim Hardaway Jr. and Courtney Lee to the Dallas Mavericks. In return, the Knicks get Dennis Smith Jr., DeAndre Jordan, Wesley Matthews and two future first round picks.
Now, right away this looks like a horrible trade for the Knicks and a great trade for the Mavericks. However, it could end up working out well for both sides. Let’s start with the Dallas Mavericks.
They just stunned the league with the trade and have now partnered up Kristaps Porzingis with rookie sensation Luka Doncic. Doncic is probably going to be the Rooke of the Year this year. Although Porzingis hasn’t played yet this season because of an ACL injury he suffered last year, it looks promising for when he returns. Porzingis was an All-Star in 2017-2018, in which he averaged 22.7 PPG and 2.4 BPG. This young duo could surly change this league for many years to come, assuming Porzingis stays with the team. He is a restricted free agent after this season.
Now, on to Tim Hardaway Jr. and Courtney Lee. Hardaway Jr. is shooting .388 from the field this season, averaging 19.1 points per game along with 2.7 assists per game. Hardaway is mainly known for his ability to shoot from the perimeter, as he is shooting .347 from beyond the arc so far this season. Courtney Lee is also known for his perimeter shooting, as the journeyman is shooting .312 percent from three this year and .388 for his career.
New York Knicks
Now, onto the Knicks. The biggest pickup from this deal for New York is the acquisition of second year player Dennis Smith Jr. Smith is a young developing player who is an overall good player. Being around other young players like Kevin Knox and Allonzo Trier may help him out in the long run. Throughout the 32 games he has played in so far this season, Smith is average 12.9 points per game, 4.3 assists per game and 3.0 rebounds per game. He is also shooting .344 percent from three and .449 percent from two point range, which overall translates to a .440 shooting percentage. It’s assumed Smith will immediately play a big role on the team after the Knicks traded two guards. Right now, this is still an acquisition that could go either way, because he hasn’t proved himself in the league yet.
As for Wesley Matthews and DeAndre Jordan, that’s a whole different story. Matthews has established himself in the league, but isn’t the star player that will make a huge impact and lead the Knicks. He’s averaging 13.1 points per game and 2.3 assists per game. Matthews has never been that big player you can rely on to put up big numbers, but he can be relied on to be healthy most of the time. Injuries have been plaguing the Knicks this season, so having someone they can hopefully consistently rely on to put up around 30 minutes per game and play a big chunk of the season is nice for them.
DeAndre Jordan is certainly an established big man in this league. For the Knicks’ sake, they better hope he can keep it up. He’s been in the league for 10 years now and has averaged a double-double five seasons. He is also averaging one this season through 50 games. Jordan is going to give the Knicks another player like Enes Kanter who they can consistently rely on to score points and also play great defense. So far this season, he’s averaging 11 points per game and 13.7 rebounds. Being that he’s only 30, hopefully he can continue to put up big numbers and give Knicks fans something to cheer about.
Who won the trade?
Overall, one day after this blockbuster trade, it seems the winner of this trade is the Dallas Mavericks. Although none of the players have played a game for their new teams yet, just the acquisition of Porzingis alone gives Dallas the edge. He’s an All-Star player whose 7’3″ and can shoot from beyond the arc without a problem. He was drafted to be the cornerstone of the Knicks. Now they messed up and he will now form a dangerous duo with Luka Doncic.
If you look to the future, however, you could say the Knicks may have won this trade. That all depends on what they do in free agency this summer. As a Knicks fan, I’m going to say the Knicks dropped the ball big time on this trade. But, regardless of my opinion, we’ll have to look at how the future could be bright for this struggling franchise. Aside from Dennis Smith Jr. and DeAndre Jordan, the Knicks ended up with two future first round draft picks. They have also now cleared enough space to sign two players to max contracts during the offseason.
Two players that immediately come to mind for the Knicks are Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant. Irving has been linked to New York since he left Cleveland and got traded to Boston. As a result of this trade, Irving acknowledged the Knicks for clearing their cap space, so that will certainly create speculation for the rest of the season. As for Kevin Durant, he has also been long linked to the Knicks franchise as a place he wouldn’t mind playing. They’re currently the favorites to sign him this offseason, and now they have the money to do it. Coach David Fizdale is also a huge positive for the team, as he is a very well liked and respected coach around the league.
It will be interesting to see how this trade plays out and to see who the eventual long-term winner will be.