The Mavericks acquired Kristaps Porzingis after he expressed frustration with the Knicks

By Michael Shapiro
January 31, 2019

The Knicks traded Kristaps Porzingis to the Mavericks along with Tim Hardaway Jr. and Courtney Lee, the team announced Thursday.

New York will receive second-year point guard Dennis Smith Jr., DeAndre Jordan and Wesley Matthews in the deal, as well as two future first-round draft picks. Jordan and Matthews are expiring contracts.

The Knicks will get Dallas's next available first-round pick. 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. A team cannot trade first-round picks in consecutive drafts, so the Knicks will get the Dallas pick two seasons after the Mavericks surrender a pick to the Hawks.

The other first-round pick New York receives will be top-10 protected in 2023, 2024 and 2025. If the Knicks haven't gotten the pick by 2025, it will turn into a second rounder for the 2025 draft.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski first reported that Porzingis met with the Knicks' front office on Thursday and stated his desire to be traded from New York. Knicks GM Scott Perry later confirmed that Porzingis requested a trade.

"As is standard for this time of year, we were exploring various options on potential trades," Perry said, per The New York Times' Marc 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."

New York will clear salary cap space for free agency in the deal in addition to adding Smith. Matthews and Jordan make a combined $41.5 in 2018-19 that will come off the Knicks' cap sheet. Dallas will assume Hardaway's $18 million in 2019-20 as well as Lee's $12.8 million. 

After Thursday's trade, the Knicks could be looking at about $74.6 million in projected cap space for next season, which is good enough to add two max slots, according to ESPN's Bobby Marks.

Smith is the lone ex-Maverick expected to stay in New York long-term. The NC State product is averaging 12.9 points and 4.3 assists per game in 2018-19. Smith was selected with the No. 9 overall pick in the 2017 draft.

Porzingis has not played in 2018-19. He tore his ACL in Feb. 2018. The former No. 4 overall pick averaged 22.7 points per game in 2017-18 before his ACL injury. Porzingis is reportedly planning to inform the Mavericks that his intent is to sign the qualifying offer in restricted free agency this summer, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic. 

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