Just when I think James Dolan couldn’t top Dan Gilbert for being the worst NBA owner, Dolan goes and gives himself a fair argument for that debate. Just in; the Knicks have traded their franchise player and young star in Kristaps Porzingis to the Dallas Mavericks. The details as we know it to be for now are below:
- Kristaps Porzingis
- Courtney Lee
- Tim Hardaway Jr.
- Trey Burke
- Dennis Smith Jr.
- Wesley Matthews
- DeAndre Jordan
- Two first round picks
While all of us mere mortals were gossiping and discussing the Anthony Davis trade situation and how we expect him to end up on the Lakers with LeBron soon, the basketball gods have this blockbuster trade come out of no where. This Porzingis trade happened without any warning and it’s taking the NBA by storm right now. Mark Cuban has rapidly sped up the contending process with no forseen drawbacks at this moment. Not only have the Mavs drafted the young star Luka Doncic to be the future of the organization, but now they’ve traded for a young star in Porzingis to pair with Luka. The organization has put the perfect touch on drafting talent and trading for it with the moves they’ve recently made. Anyone else think Cuban loves his European basketball players?
The Knicks……if they tank and don’t get a top 3 pick, this could go down as one of the worst moves in franchise history, especially if Porzingis finds championship success on the Mavericks.It’s basically ALL-IN on Zion Wlliamson at this point. From the trade, all they got was a young borderline starter, a good P&R starting center, and solid 3&D wing. That’s not a horrible package at all…..until you realize they gave up their star franchise player, a 3&D Courtney Lee, and a streaky 3&D Tim Hardaway. All Knicks fans can hope for are:
- Dennis Smith Jr. turning into a star or being their point guard of the future
- Zion Williamson living up to the hype (if they even get a chance to draft him)
- Signing Kyrie Irving and/or Kevin Durant with their cap space this upcoming free agency
- James Dolan selling the team
- All of the Above (or a combination of the above)
I will say this, I can’t help but notice how the Knicks have made cap space for 2 max contracts this upcoming offseason. If the Knicks somehow pull off signing KD and Uncle Drew this upcoming offseason with the cap space they’ve created, I’ll take back everything I’ve said, but until then, they’ve disappointed me up to this point. Back to the Dallas Mavericks, I’m thoroughly impressed (though this annoys me as a Lakers fan) with the job they’ve done up to this point. One factor some people should notice is that Porzingis will get to see how Dirk gets ready and his routines now. Dirk can pass down the torch to Porzingis with all the knowledge that he has.
With the situation that the Mavs are in, it’s kinda like seeing Steve Nash and Dirk Nowitzki 2.0 in the making (though I wouldn’t say that for sure…..yet). Porzingis has been compared to Dirk more times than I can count in the past few years and he’s the closest thing we’ve ever seen to Nowitzki. Doncic isn’t exactly Nash, but that’s not a bad thing at all considering he has the potential to be even better than him. In fact, this trade makes life way easier for the Doncic, who’s already scoring 20 points per game, by taking workload off him. Porzingis can also help Doncic get easier shots with his presence and vice versa. Possible variations of starting lineup we could see for the Mavs next season is:
- PG – Luka Doncic
- SG – Courtney Lee/Tim Hardaway Jr.
- SF – Harrison Barnes/Courtney Lee
- PF – Kristaps Porzingis/Maxi Kleber/Harrison Barnes
- C – Dwight Powell/Porzingis
This isn’t even including the fact that they could sign a great addition in free agency to add to their lineup. Originally, I believed the Lakers or Nuggets would have the brightest futures as an organization with their young cores, but the Mavs are now at the top of that list in my opinion with 2 young stars that can compliment each other and only get better. If the Mavs can surround Luka and Porzingis with the right pieces, I believe the Dallas Mavericks can seriously start competing for a championship in 4-5 years (considering Luka stays on his developmental pace and Porzingis returns from his injury the same player he was before) By then, NBA champion Harrison Barnes will be about 30 years old and should be able to produce well around these 2 stars. If the Mavs ogranization can pair a wing star (preferably a 3&D wing star) with these 2 by that time frame, I have no doubt that this team will be a great contender.
With all of this, I’ve taken away a few things:
- The Dallas Mavericks have a potential dynasty in the making
- James Dolan continues to exceed my expectations for stupidity (and I’m not even a Knicks fan so imagine how they must feel)
- The New York Knicks have officially embraced tanking if it already wasn’t clear before
- People are gonna hype this duo up a lot and it’s well deserved
- The only realistic trade I see topping this trade this season is an Anthony Davis trade to the Los Angeles Lakers.
Whether this project becomes one the greatest dynasties or one of the biggest failures we’ve ever seen, one thing is for sure, Mark Cuban just completely loves his European basketball players.