Argument Nowitzki: Dallas gets “unicorn” porcini!
The New York Knicks have traded their superstar Kristaps Porzingis to the Dallas Mavericks. A total of seven players and two draft picks are involved.
The news hit us on Thursday evening and has now been confirmed by both teams: Dallas sends Wesley Mathews, DeAndre Jordan, Dennis Smith Jr. and two first-round draft picks (2021 and 2023) to New York and gets Kristaps Porzingis, Courtney Lee, Tim Hardaway Jr. and also Trey Burke.
The Mavs are still sitting on the contracts of Lee (another 2 years for 25 million dollars) and Hardaway Jr. (3 years for 54 million dollars) for the next seasons, while the Knicks can expect to get rid of Matthews and Jordan (both running out at the end of the season) quickly.
This means that New York will not only potentially have the first draft pick (currently the worst NBA team) in the coming off-season, but also a lot of cap space for two maximum contracts. Again and again Kevin Durant (Golden State Warriors) and Kyrie Irving (Boston Celtics) are associated with the Big Apple franchise.
Dallas is also a definite winner of the trade, although it is not yet one hundred per cent clear whether Porzingis will remain in the long term. The 23-year-old Latvian, who is just recovering from a cruciate ligament rupture suffered in February 2018 and will become Restricted Free Agent after the season, is supposed to sign a big contract with the Mavericks and form the foundation for the future with rookie sensation Luka Doncic.
“If you have the chance of a possible franchise player…”
“If you have the chance of a possible franchise player, then you have to do that. We wouldn’t have made that deal if we thought he would leave this summer,” said Dirk Nowitzki, who, according to ESPN, played an important role in convincing Dallas’ unicorn Porzini. The first-round pick of the 2015 drafts (4th overall) was considered a big Nowitzki fan from the beginning, both had already trained together in the 2017 season preparation and were together at the Africa Game. “Hopefully he likes what he sees, he stays healthy and plays well for us.
Before his serious injury, the 2.21 meter forward had played his best season, contributing an average of 22.7 points, 6.6 rebounds and 2.4 blocks.
Doncic praises: “Can be one of the best players”.
Doncic was also enthusiastic about his new team-mate: “He’s a great player and I’m glad he’s with us now. He’s big, can rebound and do a lot of other things. I think he can be one of the best players in the league.”