Yesterday January 31st 2018, a blockbuster trade was conducted between the New York Knicks and the Dallas Mavericks.  This monster deal involved the Mavericks receiving Kristaps Porzingis, Tim Hardaway Jr, and Courtney Lee.  The Knicks get Dennis Smith Jr, Deandre Jordan and Wesley Matthews in return.  The deal really came as a shock to most of the NBA.  Even with the Knicks being worse than a basketball team of players with no arms, no one expected this to be as sudden as it was.  I see a lot of positives for both sides, and am actually really satisfied with how this is going to play out.

Let’s take a look at D town.  The Mavs are probably the only team in Texas that I like, and they just helped their case with that.  Though both sides benefit from this, Dallas definitely won this trade.  Despite Kristaps’ injury, he has proven to be a stud that produces big numbers.  He just adds to the Europeans that the Mavs have, almost turning them into literally a loaf of white bread.  Kristaps is 7’3 and plays like a damn guard.  He has power, finesse and that teammate building ability that the Mavs need.  My boy Luka Doncic is going to benefit from this the most.  Having two all star talents like that (if healthy) will bring the Mavericks back to the playoffs where they belong.  They are both young, with something to prove and have the talent to shock the west.  PLUS now both of these young stars get some time to study and learn beneath the (possibly) best Euro of all time in Dirk Nowitski.  Dirk is going to coach them for Team World in this year’s all star weekend, and I feel will basically be a coach to them during the regular season.  Kristaps plays a lot like Nowitski and because of that, they developed a cross the league relationship.  Another thing I loved to see is the addition of Tim Hardaway to the Mavs.  I think Tim is underrated and was just in the wrong system in Atlanta and New York.  His strong rebounding and scoring guard ability pushes the pace that Luka wants for the court.  He is a vet now and a leader that I think will have a very natural adaptation to the offense.  He is also a decent defender and brings them a bit more tenacity.  They also scooped Courtney Lee, which basically is an identical replacement for Wesley Matthews in their passing and shooting ability.

Now for the Big Apple.  A lot of people would look at this trade and hate the Knicks for shopping KP and THJ, but don’t forget Kristaps voiced his worries with the team.  Also I think Dennis Smith Jr had a rough year, but balled out last year, and brings a new energetic lifeblood to the Knicks.  He is a scorer, is fast, can shoot, and has a very Harden-like ability to cut to the basket.  He was a solid rookie of the year candidate, and just needs a fresh start which I believe he will find here.  DeAndre Jordan might not be the same Brandon Knight posterizing big man he once was in LA, but brings veteran leadership and power in the post to New York.  He’s definitely not a KP equivalent, but he resembles the days of when Tyson Chandler was in his prime there.  He is strong, grabs a ton of rebounds, and put back dunks and is a defensive wall.  They also copped Wesley Matthews in this deal who as I stated earlier, is just a more experienced Courtney Lee.  Wes is an optimistic big shot guy, who (along with DSJ) brings some good energy and positive vibes to the city so nice, they named it twice.  The most important detail in all of this is cap space.  Kristaps took up a gigantic amount of salary for the Knicks, and now they have about 72 mil available.  This gives them GREAT prospect to land a huge free agent this offseason.  Two big targets would be Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.  KD has mentioned playing in NY before, and Kyrie doesn’t seem to be loving Boston as much anymore.  Not to mention multiple other free agents that could be targeted this offseason.  With the now young core of Kevin Knox, Mitchell Robinson and the addition of Dennis Smith Jr, this along with playing in a big city makes this a hot spot for a superstar to strike the bank for a BIG payday in New York.

Ultimately, the Mavericks won this trade NOW.  New York has a lot of potential upside from the trade and could quite possibly win the trade in the future if KP busts in Dallas. Those “what if”  aspects clearly aren’t certain, but the Knicks have endless possibilities.  If they play it smart, their move of Porzingis could potentially not really affect them in a negative way and work out 100% for the Mavs which would be a win-win situation.  I am very excited to see the European pain train start rolling in Dallas, who WILL be a playoff team next year.  I’m also on the edge of my seat seeing who the Knicks sign to add to their new acquisitions and possibly a certain high profile NCAA star with their high lottery draft pick.  In the end, nothing is certain.  But as it stands, I give this trade an A+.

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Written by benfiore

NBA writer of Beyond the Arc. Employee, podcast host and writer for Thoughts From the Bench.

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