The New York Knicks just took the biggest gamble in modern franchise history by trading away its best player, Kristaps Porzingis, to the Dallas Mavericks.
Rachel Nichols, Ramona Shelburne, Michael Wilbon and Tracy McGrady of The Jump react to breaking news that the New York Knicks reportedly will trade Kristaps Porzingis, Tim Hardaway Jr. and Courtney Lee to the Dallas Mavericks for Dennis Smith Jr., DeAndre Jordan and Wesley Matthews.
The Knicks have acquired Dennis Smith Jr. in the deal. They also sent Tim Hardaway Jr. and Courtney Lee to the Mavs, and by receiving the expiring contracts of DeAndre Jordan and Wesley Matthews, they’ve essentially created the cap room to bring in two maximum-salary free agents this summer.
New York will also receive a future first-round pick in the transaction.
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Mavs rookie sensation Luka Doncic now has an elite, superstar running mate to build around for the next ten years or so, while the Knicks are left with a bunch of what-ifs.
Porzingis has reportedly been dissatisfied with the Knicks for some time. But many Knicks fans are apoplectic at hearing the breaking news of his departure. It’s rare to snag someone with his talent, and he seemed to be the lone bright spot for a franchise that’s been moribund since Carmelo Anthony led them to a 54-win season six years ago.
Dallas deserves props for following up its draft night trade for Doncic by bringing in Porzingis to lay the foundation for a promising future.
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But for the Knicks, it’s impossible to judge their decision to part ways with the man known as The Unicorn at this time. If they can convince a superstar like Kevin Durant decision to come play at Madison Square Garden, all will be forgiven.
Given the erosion of the franchise as a marquee destination where superstars are willing to come and chase the elusive championship that New York has not experienced since The Exorcist in 1973, only time will tell if this latest move will exorcise the Knicks demons.