Report: Mavericks Acquire Knicks' Porzingis

February 1, 2019

 

The Dallas Mavericks made injured forward Kristaps Porzingis' wish come true Thursday by agreeing to acquire the All-Star player from the New York Knicks, according to an ESPN report.

 

The Knicks will also send Courtney Lee and Tim Hardaway Jr. to the Mavericks in return for Wesley Matthews, Dennis Smith Jr. and DeAndre Jordan, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. The deal could also include draft assets, per the report.

 

According to an earlier ESPN report, Porzingis met with Knicks management Thursday and gave the team the impression he preferred to be traded.

 

Porzingis and his brother/agent, Janis, reportedly attended a meeting with Knicks brass to express concern with the team's losing and "an uncertainty that a culture is developing that will enable sustainable organizational success." The Knicks came away from the meeting with plans to discuss trading Porzingis before the Feb. 7 trade deadline, the report added. Hours later, news of the deal emerged.

 

The Knicks' record this season is an NBA-worst 10-40, and they have lost 11 in a row, 19 of 20 and 24 of 26.

 

Porzingis, who has been out almost a year while recovering from a torn left ACL suffered in February 2018, had his name surface in trade rumors for the New Orleans Pelicans' Anthony Davis, but ESPN reported earlier Thursday that it was unlikely he would part of a package deal this summer because he wouldl be a restricted free agent and "reluctant" to agree to a sign-and-trade.

 

New York decided not to sign Porzingis to a rookie extension before the 2018-19 season -- allowing him to become a restricted free agent after this season -- in part to preserve an extra $10 million in cap space to go after free agents this summer.

 

Before the trade, the Knicks were projected to have slightly more than $30 million available under the salary cap, enough to lure a max-value contract in free agency.

 

Updating the 23-year-old Porzingis' condition in December, Knicks president Steve Mills said he couldn't predict when -- or if -- the Latvian star would play this season.

 

Mills told reporters then that he wouldn't put a timetable on his return, while awaiting tests in mid-February.

 

Porzingis had a run-in with Knicks coach David Fizdale in November, who said his star player had yet to start sprinting as part of his rehab. Porzingis quickly refuted that, posting photos of him sprinting on an outdoor track, along with another shot of UFC lightweight champ Khabib Nurmagomedov captioned, "This is number one bull(bleep)."

 

A day later, Fizdale tried to clear the air, saying, "I'm the only doofus that didn't know he had went out to the track. Like I said, part of it is because I'm just locked into (coaching the team)."

 

Porzingis underwent surgery to repair his torn ACL on Feb. 13, 2018, and initially was expected to be out for at least 10 months. He was averaging 22.7 points, 6.6 rebounds and an NBA-best 2.4 blocks per game at the time of his injury, earning his first career All-Star selection in his third season.

 

 

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