Well, the first shoe dropped earlier this week when Anthony Davis decided he wanted to give up New Orleans for Lent. The second shoe dropped in the form of a Woj bomb when news broke on Thursday that the New York Knickerbockers basketball club was trading their lone star, the injured Kristaps Porzingis to the Dallas Mavericks.
As the trade deadline is now just a week away (February 7th), we’ll be monitoring and discussing the various trades as they come down. So check back between now and the end of next week to review the comings and goings of your favorite NBA squads.
Raptors receive: Undisclosed minimal asset
Nets receive: Greg Monroe and second rounder
For the Raptors they…. I honestly don’t know. This trade, along with their other moves put them in a position where they have 10 guys on their roster: Kyle Lowry, Danny Green, Kawhi Leonard, Pascal Siakam, Marc Gasol, Serge Ibaka, Norm Powell, Fred VanVleet, OG Anunoby, and Patrick McCaw. While they can expect to be active in the buy out market, and in fact HAVE to sign at least 3 guys, I’m not sure they’ll be in a position to add 5 guys that are all better than Monroe who has been with you all season.
For the Nets, Monroe adds a third head for a nice little 3 big rotation with Jarrett Allen, and Ed Davis, and a veteran presence with a lil playoff experience. The Nets will look to secure their playoff spot, and could make some noise in spite of the top of the East making a ton of noise this week. Worst case, should Monroe be waived, the Nets picked up another asset just for doing business
Hawks receive: Jabari Bird and Cash
Celtics receive: Heavily protected 2nd rounder that will never convey
For the Hawks, they received a little cash for helping facilitate getting Jabari Bird out of the league. He’ll be immediately released, and likely will never get another shot at the league after blowing his chance with his off the court troubles.
For the Celtics, it cost a little money to get rid of Bird, open up a roster spot for a buyout guy, or to keep them below the tax threshold, which moving forward could be important to delay entering into the repeater tax.
Magic receive: Markelle Fultz
76ers receive: Jonathan Simmons, 1st rounder (OKC’s ’20), and 2nd rounder (’19)
Love, love, love this move for the Magic. I’m still a believer in Markelle Fultz, but he CLEARLY needed to get out of Philly, a city that wasn’t showing their brother any love. Fultz still has all the potential he showed at the University of Washington, and the pressure of not being Jayson Tatum should be lessened with another franchise. Now he only has to be better than Jonathan Simmons, certainly a less daunting goal. This is the type of buy low, and hope to hit move that the rebuilding Magic needed to make, and is reminiscent of a Sean Marks’ Nets move, which is certainly a compliment.
For Philly, they are clearly all about summer 2019, and how deep they can go. They were likely never going to get anything out of Fultz, and they absolutely were not going to get anything out of him this season. This trade ends the head ache of what Philly was doing with regards to their mercurial former #1 pick. In recovery they obtained a first rounder (they re-obtained that pick, they had originally gotten for Jerami Grant), and Jonathan Simmons can be a very nice bench piece, something the 76ers critically needed.
Hawks receive: Shelvin Mack
Grizzlies receive: Tyler Dorsey
What does the Hawks receive? They get an open roster spot since reports are that they’ll be waiving Mack.
For the Grizzlies its a chance at a little bit of savings as Dorsey makes slightly less than Mack, and also provides a replacement to Temple as a back up guard for the remainder of the year. Really a chance to get a look at a possible piece moving forward.
Kings receive: Caleb Swanigan
Blazers receive: Skal Labissiere
This is a classic change of scenery trade. Both players are young post players. Swanigan just feels like he’d be more comfortable as a long term rotation piece as a back up than Labissiere did. A tough, get his nose dirty, rough n ready type guy, Swanigan also developed some perimeter shooting skills in his sophomore year at Purdue.
For the Blazers, this is a trying to hit a home run swing when you’ve got a sure fire single. Swanigan is built to have a decade long career as a inside scorer, rebounder. Someone who can find a niche as a bench big for a long time. Meanwhile the long Labissiere has more of a boom or bust feel to him. When given the opportunity, he has flashed, but those flashes have been more flickers than a roaring fire.
Lakers get Mike Muscala
Clippers get Michael Beasley & Ivica Zubac
What it means for the Lakers? It means it cost them a decent looking young center to rid themselves of locker room cancer Michael Beasley. Muscala probably fits better with the team, and Lebron from the stand point that he is much more capable of stretching the floor than Zubac, but Zubac certainly has more upside.
For the Clippers, they flip Muscala, whom they acquired in really just the last few hours for the opportunity grab an asset who they’d likely like to get a solid look at in Zubac. Word is that they’re also releasing Marcin Gortat, so this really will open up an opportunity for Zubac to get minutes. All players involved have expiring contracts, but the cap hold for Zubac is small enough that it doesn’t effect the Clippers impending cap space.
Raptors receive: Marc Gasol
Grizzlies receive: Jonas Valanciunas, Delon Wright, CJ Miles, and 2nd rounder (’24)
For Raptors they’re holding onto the adage that the team that received the best player in the deal, won the deal. Gasol is certainly better than any one player being sent to Memphis. But for a team that lived on their bench’s depth the last few seasons, losing Wright and Miles on the wings means a lot more weight will be placed solely on the shoulders of Anouby, and Powell. Ultimately though that 3 man rotation inside of Siakam, Ibaka, and now Gasol is versatile, and talented.
For Memphis, they send out a player that has been a backbone of their franchise for the last decade, and give him a chance to pursue a conference championship. Money wise it could end up being a wash. Gasol has a roughly $25 million player option, while Valanciunas & Miles each have player options that amount to about $25 million. Wright will be a free agent after the year, and the second rounder coming back isn’t due until 2024. Ultimately, this feels like a courtesy to Gasol.
Clippers receive: JaMychel Green, and Garrett Temple
Grizzlies receive: Avery Bradley
For the Clippers it means they received 2 players who are on expiring contracts in exchange for a solid rotation piece/Starter that had a partial guarantee for next season. In other words, they opened up more cap room. Not to say that Green and Temple are bad players. They’re both solid parts who can help, they’re just not guys you build around.
What does this deal mean for the Grizzlies? It means that they acquired a nice piece in Avery Bradley, whom they have the option of keeping next season and pairing with Mike Conley in the back court. They also open up a roster spot which they’ll need considering other deals they’ve made today.
Pacers receive: Nik Stauskas, Wade Baldwin IV, future 2nd rounder
Rockets receive: undisclosed at this time, expect draft rights to a 50 year old, or a non-conveying 2nd round pick, basically, nothing
What this means for the Pacers? It means nothing. They’re going to waive Nik Stauskas and Wade Baldwin who have been traded as a pair from Portland, to Cleveland, to Houston, and now Indiana. They’re getting passed around more than a Kardashian in a NBA hotel room after party. They acquired a 2nd rounder as the price of doing business
For the Rockets, it was a bunch of moves to get to one place. Sending out Knight, Chriss, Stauskas, Baldwin, and Ennis means that they squeaked below the tax line, and opened up a roster spot for a buy out candidate.
Pelicans receive: Jason Smith, Stanley Johnson, and 4 undisclosed 2nd rounders
Bucks receive: Nikola Mirotic
What this means for the Pelicans? They acquired a replacement post in case Davis is traded or is sat in the form of Smith. Important considering that Randle has been injured as of late, and can you trust Okafor? The key though was the acquisition of the draft picks. Granted, they’re second rounders, but considering Mirotic was going to walk regardless after the season, its better than nothing. Plus they get a look at former lotto pick Stanley Johnson, a solid defender who maybe find new driving lanes without Andre Drummond clogging the middle.
What this means for the Bucks? It means they mean business. A solid contender to rep the East in the Golden State Invitational. Mirotic falls into the stretch the floor forward category that Milwaukee and the league are currently enamored with. He’s essentially a better version of Ersan Ilyasova, whom the Bucks already have. The flip side is that Mirotic can’t cover Tobias Harris, or Marcus Morris, or Draymond Green whom he’d be tasked with covering once the playoffs hit
Rockets receive: The right to swap 2nd round picks in 2021
76ers receive: James Ennis
What this means for the Rockets? This, combined with some other moves that I’ll document shortly means that Darryl Morey, who is a god damned genius, nothing is impossible with this guy, has gotten the Rockets below the tax line, which then clicks the switch off on the dreaded repeater tax, which sounds minor, but is HUGE.
For the 76ers it means they added a bench piece who can shoot a bit, certainly something they were desperate for. Ennis’ addition means that Philly is waiving Malachi Richardson who was barely a 76er.
Pelicans receive: Markeiff Morris, and 2nd rounder (’23)
Wizards receive: Wesley Johnson
What this trade means for the Pelicans? It means they took on a smidge more salary this year in return for a 2nd round pick. Morris is certainly a better player than Johnson, but is also hurt and a candidate to be bought out. This was simply a means to acquire an asset… and IF Morris is being bought out, a means to clear a roster spot.
What this means for the Wizards? It means that somehow, some way, the Wizards managed to get below the tax threshold with the jettisoning of Otto Porter and Markeiff Morris. Wesley Johnson is a free agent after this year for the Wizards who currently sit 10th in the east will be inconsequential. With more players coming in the last 2 days, than going out, Johnson could be bought out.
Kings receive: Harrison Barnes
Mavericks receive: Zach Randolph, and Justin Jackson
What this means for the Kings? It means they acquired a forward they’ve long sought. They’ll attempt to persuade Barnes to pick up his player option for next season and/or ink him to an extension. They view him as a foundational player alongside Buddy Hield, Marvin Bagley Jr, and De’Aron Fox. And honestly, its hard to argue with that. Still only 26 it feels like Barnes has been around since the days of Mitch Richmond. This simply was an opportunity to acquire a piece that the Kings like. For them this isn’t about any salary cap ramifications, its just another building block for their kingdom.
What does this mean for Dallas? It means they didn’t anticipate Barnes as being part of their timeline. Him picking up his option next year, only to leave the year after wasn’t a palatable option. By sending him out now the Mavs receive a decent young piece in Justin Jackson, and they don’t have to worry about him picking up that option. They can very easily position themselves to have a max contract, and I’ll say it, I see them as a dark horse candidate to sign Kevin Durant in the off season. Not saying its a slam dunk, but I’m saying people better start putting them in that conversation. Randolph is a buy out candidate as his role would duplicate Nowitzki’s and we KNOW Dirk isn’t going anywhere this year. Randolph ending up in Golden State in David West’s former slot wouldn’t be shocking.
Rockets receive: Iman Shumpert, Nik Stauskas, Wade Baldwin IV
Kings receive: Alec Burks, 2nd rounder
Cavaliers receive: Brandin Knight, Marquese Chriss, & Rockets ’19 first rounder (lotto protected)
What does this mean for the Rockets? Well, they weren’t using Knight or Chriss in any significant way, so on the court this is all positive. They’re looking for Shumpert to replace some of the length, defense, and athleticism they lost on the wing when Ariza, and Mbahe a Moute left in the off-season. Shumpert can likely provide some of that. Whether they can re-create the chemistry of last year’s squad is a different story, but on paper, they’re making the effort. I would be a much, MUCH bigger fan of Shumpert if he brought back to old school Kid n’ Play hightop fade. Until then he’ll always fall just short of any expectations.
What does this mean for Sacramento? Well, they shipped out one soon to be free agent wing making about $11 million a year for another soon to be free agent wing making about $11 million a year. Which is to say this is a pure basketball move. My assumption is that they felt that Burks could be a nicer fit, and were more inclined to sign him long term than they were with Shumpert. If Burks bolts in July, then no harm, no foul, and the Kings get a 2nd rounder for helping to facilitate the trade.
Why did the Cavs make the move? Two words, asset acquisition. They could have gotten back Bert and Ernie and they would have made this move. Burks, Knight, Chriss, Shumpert, they couldn’t care less. The carrot on this stick for them was the Rockets first rounder. Granted there are lottery protections on the pick, but unless James Harden and Chris Paul run into each other and break all four legs amongst them, this pick will convey to the Cavs come June. The fact that Burks was actually playing really well for them only sweetens the deal. They need all the ping pong balls they can get for the Zion sweepstakes.
Wizards receive: Jabari Parker, Bobby Portis, 2nd rounder (’23)
Bulls receive: Otto Porter
What this means for the Wizards? It means that they’re almost out of salary cap hell. If they can some how manage to escape from Ian Mahinmi’s deal they could actually have some cap room in spite of John Wall’s giant deal. The flip side is that assuming they don’t exercise Parker’s option (they won’t), and Dwight Howard doesn’t opt into his deal (he should) they would have just Bradley Beal, John Wall, Ian Mahinmi, and Troy Brown under contract for next season, and that accounts for about $84 million in salaries… AND John Wall isn’t likely to play in 2019-2020 (why would he come back in the spring when the team will clearly be out of it)
Its not that Porter is a bad player, he’s actually not bad, an above average NBA player. But there is no way in hell he’s worth the $27 million a year he’s getting paid. The theme of the day seems to be teams that matched Nets offer sheets finally realizing they got snookered (Porter and Tyler Johnson are both WAY over paid thanks to offer sheets they got from the Nets as restricted free agents), and doing whatever they can to clear their books of these deals.
What this means for the Bulls? It seems that they decided they weren’t going to be a free agent destination and felt the best way to address their roster was through the draft and trades. Portis and Parker were impending free agents (Parker had a $20 million team option, the entire point of which was to make him a trade chip for right about this time), so the Bulls decided to turn those assets into something. Like the Wizards, they’ll likely regret Porter’s contract down the line as well.
As far as roster fit though I can see it. They’ve got smallish guards/wings in Dunn and LaVine. They’ve got bigs in Carter and Markkanen, but they were missing that SF/PF type. The 6’8”-6’9” forward who can theoretically match up against a Giannis (yeah right), Kawhi, or Durant. With still only around $80 million committed to next years payroll (including Porter’s $27 million), and no realistic shot at adding a max level talent, they’re taking a chance on Porter. If it doesn’t work out, his salary will be coming off the books around the time the Bulls young core is ready to add that star to take them to the next level.
Heat receive Ryan Anderson
Suns receive Tyler Johnson and Wayne Ellington
What does this mean for Miami? It means they’re about to buy out Ryan Anderson and save some money. Tyler Johnson was due just over $19 million next year with a player option that he’d need to be certifiably insane to not exercise. He is not worth that money, and the Heat are littered with mediocre players making more than mediocre dollars. James Johnson, Kelly Olynyk, Dion Waiters, etc. Someone had to go. The Heat saw the opportunity to shed Johnson’s salary and swooped. So what if they had to take back NBA leper Ryan Anderson, it’s very likely he is bought out this week and never plays a minute for the Heat.
For the Suns this means they acquired a decent, though not worth the money combo guard. Johnson’s ability to play on the ball will free up Devin Booker from play maker responsibilities and allow for him to play more frequently at his natural scoring guard position. In the same vain though, Johnson is talented enough off the ball, that it creates interchangeable possibilities for the Suns in the backcourt.
As for the Wayne Ellington aspect, reports are that he is seeking to be bought out in hopes of joining a playoff contender. Philly would seem like a natural landing spot. As would the Lakers once they’ve sorted themselves out. I would think the Suns would at least entertain the possibility of retaining Ellington. Having another vet on the squad whom Jamal Crawford can talk to would seem like a good idea.
Bucks receive: Stanley Johnson
Pistons receive: Thon Maker
What does this mean for the Bucks? It means they are walking a tight rope as far as post depth. Brook Lopez and Jason Smith are both on the last year of their deals. They have some other post “ish” guys like DJ Wilson, and Ersan Ilyasova, but an injury to Lopez would be devastating now. Maker showed flashes, and at the very least was athletic and a good rim protector. Acquiring Johnson does add another long athletic wing, which clearly the Bucks are good at using. It was for sure a change of scenery deal for both guys.
What does this mean for the Pistons? Well, I actually like Maker, a lot more than I like Johnson. When Maker asked out of Milwaukee a couple weeks ago looking for more of a chance at playing time I don’t think envisioned going to a team that plays Andre Drummond and Blake Griffin inside. Its not exactly a clear path to playing time. With Jon Leuer, Zaza Pachulia, and Henry Ellenson all still around its getting a bit crowded. With 2 deals on the books this week already, it wouldn’t be shocking if there was more house cleaning to come for the Pistons who currently sit just outside the Eastern Conference’s playoff picture.
76ers receive Malachi Richardson, draft rights to Emir Preldzic, and a 2nd rounder (’22)
Raptors receive: CASH MONEY HOMIE, THAT SKRILLA
What does this mean for the 76ers? It means they bought low on a boom or bust guy. Full disclaimer, I thought Richardson would have a bigger impact by now in the league than he has. I saw him as an instant offense off the bench type guy, which I strongly suspect is what Philly is looking for. Whether the former Syracuse Orangeman fulfills that promise is still a wait and see proposition. As for Preldzic, he’s a 6’9” 31 year old forward who was drafted by Phoenix in 2009, and who will never step on the floor for an NBA squad.
What does this mean for the Raptors? It means they’re getting bottle service at the club this weekend! They made cash both in the savings cap/tax wise, and by receiving money from Philly. No word yet on if that is in American or Canadian dollars. They had no use for Richardson, as evidenced by the fact that they didn’t use Richardson. This affords them a roster spot in case any buy out candidates enjoy those brisk Ontario springs.
76ers receive: Tobias Harris, Boban Marjanovic, Mike Scott
Clippers receive: Landry Shamet, Wilson Chandler, Mike Muscala, 2020 Philly 1st rounder, 2021 Miami 1st rounder, and 2nd round picks from Philly (’21,’23)
What this means for the 76ers. It means they better be willing to PAY! Luckily they’ll still have Ben Simmons on his rookie deal for another couple seasons because the 6ers have emptied their war chest this year to acquire stars Jimmy Butler and Tobias Harris. They now have a tremendous starting line up, with precious little depth on the bench. The thought is that they’ll look to exploit the spring buy out market like they did last year when Marco Belinelli and Ersan Ilyasova were god sends. If they’re able to nab a guy like Wes Matthews, or Wayne Ellington off the buyout shelf, they’d be well positioned for a finals run.
That being said, both Butler and Harris will command max level salaries. Even if Harris is a smidge, and just a smidge below max level talent, there are more max level slots available this off season than there will be max level guys who make it to market. Basic supply and demand laws (we haven’t gone socialist just yet) tell me that when demand is larger than supply, then someone is getting PAID. It seems likely Philly pays both and then figures out what to do financially down the road when Simmons is due his pay day.
What does this mean for the Clippers? It means they’re well positioned for this summer. They will now likely fall out of the playoffs, meaning they retain their 2019 first rounder instead of going full Dropkick Murphys and shipping off to Boston. They will have big money to spend in the offseason. They’ll be prime bidders for Kawhi Leonard, Kevin Durant, and could make a run at trading for Anthony Davis. Hell, they could sign the first 2, and then trade for Davis. They’ve got their 2019 pick, the very attractive Miami pick, Philly’s pick, an intriguing rookie back court of Landry Shamet and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, and two vets on OUTSTANDING CONTRACTS in Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell. It also wouldn’t shock if some vets like Avery Bradley, Patrick Beverly, or Luc Mbah a Moute drew some interest before tomorrow’s deadline
Lakers receive: Reggie Bullock
Pistons receive: Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk, and 2nd round pick (2021)
What does this mean for the Lakers? It means the Lakers are not building. You remember the story about the 3 little pigs? Each built a house. One of straw, one of sticks, and one of bricks. Well if you’re a pig looking to build a sturdy brick house you do that by setting a strong foundation. Using draft picks, and developing players. When you’re looking to just get through the night, you make a house of straw.
The Lakers my friends are straw builders. I’m not saying that Sviatoslav is the second coming of Ray Allen, but he was a 41% career 3 point shooter at Kansas. What he isn’t is a veteran. The Lakers are looking to win now, and that meant it was time for the rook to get the boot. Bullock is a solid rotation player who will instantly become one of the Lakers best wings, especially if other young players are jettisoned in the next 19 hours.
What does this mean for the Pistons? It means that they’re getting younger on the wings. For a team with a couple of veterans at the center of what they’re doing (Griffin & Drummond) they sure do seem to be inching towards a youth movement, though they’re not willing to fully take the plunge, more dipping their big toe in. Svia does seem to mimic what the Pistons get from Luke Kennard, but maybe they’re looking to surround the 2 bigs with a barrage of shooters.
Trail Blazers receive: Rodney Hood
Cavaliers receive: Nik Stauskas, Wade Baldwin IV, 2 2nd round picks (2021,2023)
What does this mean for the Blazers? It means they added another scoring wing. The Blazers continue to be a team built around the 2 headed Lilliard-McCollum monster that is surrounded by 9 or 10 other solid, though unspectacular NBA talents. It wouldn’t shock if there was another shoe to drop. A package of salary cap fodder vets such as Evan Turner, Meyers Leonard, or Maurice Harkless coupled with some youngsters with promise like Zach Collins, Caleb Swanigan, or Anfernee Simmons. The acquisition means they can send out 3 or 4 of these names, and still field a team with solid depth.
What does it mean for the Cavaliers? Well, to quote Major League, “We Suck Again!”. The Cavs goal of having a roster entirely made up of smallish guards continues to move forward. Jordan Clarkson, Alec Burks, Delly, Sexton, Baldwin. I honestly have no idea what the Cavs roster building angle is, other than the obvious tanking factor. They essentially traded out 1 guy making a bit over $3 million for 2 guys making combined a bit over $3 million. In the process they acquired another couple future second rounders. When you have no interest in winning, you do anything you can to add future assets, regardless of how mundane they may seem now.
Bulls receive: Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot and cash
Thunder receive: Heavily protected 2020 2nd round draft pick
What does this mean for the Bulls? It means that the Bulls locker room is the modern day Ellis Island. It used to be that immigrants would arrive at Ellis Island for processing before being released into the New World. Now a days it feels like if you’re going to be released into the wilds of NBA mid-season free agency you first are sent to Chicago. This is the 4th trade in the last month or so for the Bulls. The end net result is that the Bulls have added: Timothe Luwawau-Cabarrot, Wayne Selden, 2 future 2nd rounders from Memphis, the rights to Jon Diebler, and cash from 3 of the deals. They sent out: the rights to Tadiji Dragicevic (who?), Justin Holiday, and 2 heavily protected 2nd round picks that will never ever convey. And thanks to the jail breaking Bulls’ front office these former players are now walking the streets as free men: Carmelo Anthony, MarShon Brooks, and Michael Carter Williams (any of those three could actually help the 12-40 Chicago Bulls, except of course in their pursuit of ping pong balls)
What does this mean for the Thunder? It means cash money, and flexibility. Best case, it opened up a roster spot for what is looking like an interesting buy out market (Wes Matthews would look nice in OKC). Worst case they dumped a player and salary who they weren’t using, but that was going to towards raising their luxury tax bill.
Knicks receive: Dennis Smith Jr., Wesley Matthews, DeAndre Jordan, 2 future 1st round picks
Mavs receive: Kristaps Porzingis, Tim Hardaway Jr. Courtney Lee, and Trey Burke
What does this mean for the Knicks? It means they’re going in on a complete reboot. They essentially traded away their best asset in order to entice the Mavs to take on the albatross contracts of Tim Hardaway Jr and Courtney Lee. Neither of those guys are bad players, but they’re simply not worthy of the contracts they had.
Assuming the Knicks renounce the rights to all their free agents come July they’ll be in a position to have about $75 million in cap space. Enough to sign 2 max contract players. The issue is, can they attract 2 players worthy of being a max contract player? I’m picturing the summer of 2009 when the Pistons cleared out cap space and signed…. drum roll please….. Ben Gordon and Charlie Villenueva.
It is entirely likely that both DeAndre Jordan and Wes Matthews could be bought out, becoming street free agents. Thus really leaving the return as Dennis Smith Jr. and 2 future firsts. Those picks are looking to be an unprotected pick in 2021, and a protected 1-10 pick in 2023. Picks will commence 2 years following the Mavs conveying a pick to Atlanta that is Top 5 protected in 2019, their pick currently would be #11 without any ping pong luck.
When its all said and done the Knicks in the fall of 2019 will look like: Dennis Smith Jr., Frank Ntilikina, Kevin Knox, Lance Thomas, Alonzo Trier (they’d have to be on meth to not pick up his team option), Mitchell Robinson, and Damyean Dotson. Add in a top 4 pick (they currently sit at the bottom of the standings with the worst record in the league, and will have no where to go but down if they buy out Jordan and Matthews), and whomever they can get for $75 million.
Knicks fans will spend the next 5 months going to sleep with visions of Durant, Irving, and Leonard dancing in their heads. Its tough to bet against a marquee team that resides in Madison Square Garden, the Mecca of basketball, but then again its VERY easy to bet against a franchise run by James Dolan (not to confused with former Weymouth and Archbishop Williams high basketball coach Jimmy Dolan who is a fine gentleman, nor to be confused with Kevin Bacon’s character Jimmy Dolan who perfected the shake n’ bake in the classic film, The Air Up There). So we’ll see, but at the very least, 5 months of day dreaming will be the best 5 months Knicks fans have had since Patrick Ewing was posting up.
What does this mean in the big D, and yes I mean Dallas? It means that the Mavericks have one of the most entertaining player combos in recent memory. Obviously the biggest question marks are 1) How will Porzingis return from his ACL injury and 2) Will Porzingis remain long term?
Porzingis is a restricted free agent this summer, will he sign the qualifying offer in order to become an unrestricted free agent in 2020, or extend in Dallas? The idea of pairing the Latvian Porzingis with the Slovenian Luka Doncic, with veteran leadership provided by German Dirk Nowitzki will have Texans rethinking their stances on immigration.
In the short term the Mavs actually aren’t that bad off. The addition of Trey Burke will help offset the loss of JJ Barea who was lost to injury a few weeks ago. With Smith gone, you’ll see more of Doncic with the ball, which is always a good thing.
If Barnes re-signs its not a bad trifecta going with Doncic/Porzingis/Barnes with Hardaway now being the 4th wheel, a role he is more suited for than the lead dog routine he’s been in with New York.
And just to keep Knicks fans up at night… if you were Kevin Durant, what is more intriguing? Going to New York (he’s a Baltimore guy) to play under James Dolan with who knows who? OR going to Dallas to play with Porzingis, Doncic, Barnes, and Hardaway under Mark Cuban and Rick Carlisle. Keep in mind that Durant played his one year of college ball at Texas, and Texas does not have any state income tax. Because if Barnes and Dwight Powell do not opt out, the Mavs would currently be in line to have about $32 million in cap room. That obviously increases if either of those guys opts out and their rights are renounced. Not saying it would happen, or that I’ve even heard that rumor…. but damn wouldn’t that be the most Knicks thing ever? Losing out on Durant because he wanted to go play with Porzingis.
Winner of the trade: I’m not ducking stupid. There are too many unresolved variables. We won’t know the results of this trade until we see how Porzingis looks AND if he extends, as well as until we know if the Knicks were able to actually capitalize on this cap space. Ask again come August.
- Written by Jason Sullivan
- Find us on Twitter at @TopDucker or on Facebook at You’re Ducking Right