Rethinking Kristaps Porzingis’ exchange to the Mavericks: Did the Knicks gain value in exchange for an All-Star striker?

In case you need another reminder that time flies, Kristaps Porzingis has been traded for Mavericks for almost three years.

Porzingis, who was drafted by the Knicks for the fourth time in 2015, Porzingis’ time in New York had a decent share of ups and downs. After Porzingis was selected for the NBA All-Star Game in January 2018, he went down with a torn ACL on February 6, 2018.

That would be the last time he’d ever come to New York.

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On January 31, 2019, the Knicks traded Porzingis for Mavericks as part of a seven-player blockbuster. Although Porzingis does not take the floor during Knicks’ visit to the Knicks on Wednesday, there is no better time for him to return to the business itself.

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Shop details Mavericks-Knicks

  • Mavericks will receive: Kristaps Porzingis, Trey Burke, Tim Hardaway Jr. and Courtney Lee
  • Knicks will receive: DeAndre Jordan, Wesley Matthews, Dennis Smith Jr., first round draft 2021, first round draft 2023 (top 10 protected)

Why did the Knicks replace Kristaps Porzingis?

According to an ESPN report from January 2019, Porzingis gave the franchisees the impression that he wanted to be exchanged at a meeting that allegedly lasted less than five minutes.

Steve Mills, who was president of the Knicks at the time, said: “We started to feel we saw that he was not completely buying what we were trying to do. [during Thursday’s meeting] we wanted confirmation from him if he was completely in or out. When he met us, he made it clear that he no longer wanted to be part of our group. “

The Knicks also won two contracts to expire in Jordan ($ 22.9 million) and ($ 18.6 million), freeing nearly $ 71 million in ceiling space before the summer, in which players like Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and Kawhi Leonard threatened free players.

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Why did the Mavericks trade for Kristaps Porzingis?

After winning Luka Doncic in the NBA draft in 2018, the Mavericks were looking for a player to complement their rising star.

It was reported that Porzingis had a good relationship with Mavericks superstar Luke Doncic and Dirk Nowitzki, who eventually left at the end of the 2018-19 season. On the night of the exchange, Porzingis shared on Twitter the GIF moment shared between him and Doncic earlier in the season.

The breakup with Smith was a corresponding step, as reports also indicated that the lottery selection in 2017 was frustrated by playing Doncica.


Two full seasons have passed since the contract, and the Mavericks introduced themselves to the Knicks twice a season.

When Porzingis was healthy, he was impressive for the Mavericks, averaging 20.3 points and 9.0 rebounds during the first 126 games with the team. Durability was a minor issue as he missed half of the Mavs’ first round series with the LA Clippers in the NBA 2020 playoffs.

In addition to Porzingis, Hardaway has been a critical part of what the Mavericks do, averaging 15.8 points and 37.7 percent of the three-point range over three and a half seasons. Hardaway was rewarded with a four-year deal worth $ 75 million in the offseason of 2021.

After a brief stint in Philadelphia, Burke returned to the Mavericks during the NBA restart in 2020 and has remained with the team ever since. The Mavs surrendered to Lee in December 2020.

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As for the Knicks, Jordan was a free agent and Matthews was redeemed before the end of the 2018-19 season. Smith stayed with the team through the 2019-20 season before being traded to the Pistons in the 2020-21 season.

When the Mavericks qualified for the NBA playoffs in 2021, the Knicks were given the 21st draft pick, which was traded to the LA Clippers.

New York’s biggest gain from this deal was the cap space he used to sign a number of free agents, most notably Julius Randle, who was selected for the 2021 NBA All-Star Game.

Due to Mavericks’ two playoff appearances and the fact that technically the three players won in the deal remain on the team, the three-year perspective puts them on top of the deal.


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