Kristaps Porzingis Expresses Desire to Be Traded

Kristaps Porzingis Expresses Desire to Be Traded

The Dallas Mavericks sent Dennis Smith Jr., Wesley Matthews and DeAndre Jordan to NY. The Mavericks traded a first-round pick to the Hawks to acquire Luka Doncic, but the pick is top-five protected for the next two season, then top-three protected in the 2021 and 2022 drafts, and then unprotected the next year.

Smith returned to the Mavericks lineup on January 23 after a two-week absence while trade rumors swirled.

According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, however, no decisions have been made on that front just yet. That amount would be enough to sign two players to max contracts.

Porzingis has not played since tearing his ACL in February 2018. DeAndre Jordan, Wes Matthews and "future first-round compensation" will go to NY.

This was not the first sign of cracks in the relationship between Porzingis and the Knicks. Smith, a 2017 first-round pick with loads of offensive talent, gives their backcourt a potential piece to build around, while Matthews and Jordan have expiring contracts that'll provide loads of cap space in the summer.

Opposing teams expect the Knicks to be aggressive in pursuing the top free agents in the coming offseason, a group that includes Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard and Kyrie Irving. The Knicks famously passed on him in the 2017 NBA Draft for Frank Ntilikina.

Had Porzingis fielded offers from other teams this summer, he'd be looking at a major pay day, forcing the Mavericks to either match an offer sheet or lose Porzingis entirely. That's a lot of money to commit to someone with Porzingis' injury, potentially without seeing him play beforehand. But they declined to give him a contract extension before this season - they say he was in agreement with that decision - and now by trading him and Hardaway seem instead to be gearing up to pursue players in free agency, with almost $70 million in cap space.

However, Mills and Perry saw otherwise, noticing how often Porzingis was in the gym and how long he stayed when he did come.

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