The New York Knicks agreed to trade center Kristaps Porzingis to the Dallas Mavericks in a deal first reported by Marc Stein of the New York Times. Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN confirmed the deal was agreed upon by the Knicks.
The deal, which was made official on Thursday afternoon, includes seven players in total. The Mavericks will receive Porzingis, Tin Hardaway Jr., Trey Burke and Courtney Lee. The Knicks will receive Dennis Smith Jr., DeAndre Jordan and Wesley Matthews, along with two future first round draft picks.
Porzingis will reportedly sign the qualifying offer this summer.
While the trade shocked many in the NBA world on Thursday, Knicks general manager Scott Perry said they were confident that the trade “improves the franchise.
“As is standard for this time of year, we were exploring various options on potential trades,” Perry said, via ESPN’s Marc J. Spears. “Considering the uncertainty regarding Kristaps’ free agent status and his request today to be traded, we made a trade that we are confident improves the franchise.”
Porzingis left impression he wanted out
News broke earlier Thursday that the 23-year-old met with Knicks management to discuss the direction the franchise was headed. That conversation left the team with the impression he wanted to be traded, per an earlier Wojnarowski report.
The 7-foot-3 Porzingis has been on the rehab trail since tearing an ACL in February 2018. He was reported in December to be “healing well,” but has been the subject of conflicting reports as to his return.
Meanwhile the Knicks (10-40) have plummeted in the standings.
Mavs swoop in for All-Star
Not but 20 minutes before the trade news, the Mavs weren’t among the teams expected to be in on Porzingis. The move comes a week before the NBA trade deadline for a player who hasn’t played since a potentially career-altering injury.
He was averaging a career-high 22.7 points per game in the first half of the 2017-18 season with 6.6 rebounds and 2.4 blocks.
The Mavs are reportedly working to get a first-round pick to give the Knicks, per ESPN. Their protected first-round pick is now the Atlanta Hawks’ after a trade for Luka Doncic.
The move sets the Knicks up to rebuild a roster.
New York offloads the contracts of Hardaway and Lee while contracts of Matthews and Jordan are expiring.
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