It’s been two weeks since the New York Knicks traded their star forward, Kristaps Porzingis to the Dallas Mavericks for Dennis Smith Jr., DeAndre Jordan, a first round pick and Wesley Matthews.
The trade came with a lot of criticism from fans and players around the NBA. Porzingis tore his ACL last February, and missed the remainder of that year. He won’t be playing at all this season either, even after showing progress in late December.
It’s clear the Knicks are very focused on their future, as they should be. They have a legitimate coach in David Fizdale, who will help develop the younger players. Kevin Knox looks like a great draft pick, and will definitely be a superstar within a few years.
The team has been the laughing stock of the NBA for almost 20 years, and Knicks fans are fed up with failure. However, was trading their best asset a good idea?
By trading Porzingis, the Knicks opened up enough cap space to hand out a second max contract this offseason. It also gives New York another first round draft pick. The Knicks now have seven first round picks in the next five years.
The free-agent class this coming offseason is stacked with talent, including players such as Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving who have shown interest in playing in New York. Another thing to note is Anthony Davis wants a trade, and with the Pelicans denying the Lakers’ trade requests, the Knicks now have the opportunity to push a trade for him as well.
The biggest factor in this entire fiasco is the Knicks’ draft position. Last night New York ended their 18 game losing skid with a 106-91 win over the Atlanta Hawks, improving their record to 11-47, the second-worst record in the Eastern Conference. According to Sports Illustrated, the Knicks have a 14% chance of getting the No. 1 overall pick.
The two biggest names in the draft both come out of Duke; R.J. Barrett and Zion Williamson. Regardless of which player in Barrett or Williamson ends up with New York, they will not only immensely improve the product on the floor, but also create a greater appeal to those big name free agents.
The Knicks have a lot of options this upcoming summer. Trading Porzingis was not a bad thing. If you really think about it, what has he done as a Knick? He’s never won a championship. Never took them to the playoffs. They traded Porzingis because he wasn’t ‘in’ on the Knicks plan to get better and he was “tired” of losing. The Knicks did themselves a favor.