Porzingis trade opens gate for NBA trade deadline

The deal for the Knicks star opens the door for other star players to be dealt this season

John Laforest
Staff Writer

The last day of January featured a trade in the NBA that shocked the sports world because of the timing and magnitude of the player who was traded. 

The Dallas Mavericks acquired All-Star forward Kristaps Porzingis, Trey Burke, Tim Hardaway Jr. and Courtney Lee in exchange for a package that includes point guard Dennis Smith Jr. and two future first-round picks.

Porzingis met with Knicks management Thursday and left the team officials with the impression that he wanted to be traded, according to ESPN. 

Porzingis has been sidelined for nearly a year after suffering a gruesome ACL tear January of 2018. 

Knicks general manager Scott Perry acknowledged that the club had many conversations with several teams about potential trades prior to meeting with Porzingis.

“We started to get a feel, we could see that he wasn’t completely buying into what we were trying to do,” Knicks president Steve Mills said during a post-trade conference call. “And again, [during Thursday’s meeting] we wanted a confirmation from him whether he was completely in or out. He made it clear to us when he came in to meet with us that he no longer wanted to be part of our group.”

The Mavericks are hoping to re-sign the 7-foot-3 unicorn, who is set to become a restricted free agent, to a long-term deal this summer, and they are confident that Luka Doncic and Dirk Nowitzki can play significant roles in making that happen, a source told ESPN.

“He loves Luka and Dirk,” a source told ESPN about Porzingis.

Porzingis spent time with Doncic in Madrid last summer while he rehabbed his ACL injury at the Real Madrid facility. 

“We obviously think Porzingis is a great young talent, similar in many ways to Dirk,” coach Rick Carlisle said on the Mavs’ flagship station 103.3 FM ESPN. “This is kind of a Dirk-and-Steve Nash type of situation, only these guys are taller.”

These two young European studs when both fully healthy could make a wave and become contenders in a talented western conference with age and continuity. Doncic is already a border line All-Star at only 19 years old and Porzingis is only 23 years old coming off his best season before his injury.

Two players that the Knicks acquired are set to be off the books and reach a buyout with the Knicks are Deandre Jordan and Wesley Matthews. 

Now, the question roams whether other stars around the league, like New Orleans Pelicans big man Anthony Davis, will be traded at the deadline? After rumors circulated about a possible trade with the Lakers, Davis has let it known to the entire NBA that he is open for business.

Other players rumored to be in the mix for trades this deadline season are forward Gorgui Dieng and guard Jeff Teague of the Minnesota Timberwolves, former Timberwolves’ player Kevin Love, who currently plays for the Cleveland Cavaliers, and former NBA All-Star players, Marc Gasol and Mike Conley of the Memphis Grizzlies.

The Mavericks just improved their long-term future picking up Porzingis and have also opened for many teams across the league to make moves this deadline season. Don’t be surprised to see another star or two dealt before the deadline.

Feature photo courtesy of the Associated Press.

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