It was probably the biggest trade of the season, but one that most of us just didn’t understand. The Knicks sent their franchise cornerstone — Kristaps Porzingis — to the Mavericks for expiring contracts, Dennis Smith Jr., and a guy in DeAndre Jordan who will likely be bought out before the end of the month.
Why would the Knicks trade their only franchise star for some cap space? Sure, it frees up some more room for max-level free-agents, but why take the risk of having nothing if you didn’t have to?
On the latest episode of The Lowe Post, ESPN’s Zach Lowe made a little more sense of the move, revealing the reason why New York was so quick to move one of the league’s brightest young stars.
“I don’t think he was psyched about playing with Durant. I don’t know how directly that was verbalized to the Knicks, but I’m confident that it wasn’t something that was his Plan A, he wanted to be the face of the franchise.”
It seems Kristaps wasn’t fully bought into the franchise’s plans. And, as good as KP is, the Knicks weren’t willing to choose him over signing a guy like Durant. And, at least at this stage, that was probably the right call.
In Dallas, Porzingis can thrive and grow alongside Luka Doncic, a young Rookie showing a lot of promise. With the Knicks, his development would have been stunted playing with a Durant or Kyrie.
In the bigger picture, this pretty much confirms the Knicks are going absolutely all-in on Kevin Durant. Not that that’s something we really had a doubt about anyway…