Dallas Mavericks Add Franchise Player in Kristaps Porzingis
The Dallas Mavericks are currently four games under .500 in the Western Conference, and the team decided to add a potential franchise player today by acquiring Kristaps Porzingis from the New York Knicks. The deal also includes the Knicks sending Courtney Lee and Tim Hardaway Jr. to the Mavericks in return for a pair of expiring contracts in Wesley Matthews and DeAndre Jordan, along with Dennis Smith Jr., league sources told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. In addition, Woj also reported that the Mavericks are working on acquiring a first round to send to the Knicks as part of the deal.
The 23-year old Porzingis has been recovering from ACL surgery since he injured his knee last year. He is close to returning and he did work out for the team earlier this month. Porzingis and his agent (also his brother) met with Knicks management this morning, and they expressed concern about the future of the organization. Apparently, the New York brass did not like what they heard from the Prozingis duo, and they worked out the trade with Dallas the same day. The Knicks have been a total disaster without him, and they have won only 10 games this season and currently own the worst record in the NBA. The trade now gives them an opportunity to sign a pair of max free agents next season and they also have a shot at a top lottery pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. The addition of Smith Jr. also help solves the team's long search for a young star point guard.
For the Mavs, the trade gives them a pair of franchise players to build around. Porzingis joins rookie small forward Luca Doncic, who has been the team's best player through the first half of the season. In 49 games, Doncic is averaging 20.4 points, 6.9 rebounds, and 5.4 assists per game. Dallas will soon have to pay Porzingis, since he can become a restricted free agent after the 2019 season. Twitter reaction has been a mixed bag, especially among the sports media.