New York brass, sporting the fastest trigger fingers ever, traded their franchise player to Dallas Thursday in a move that left fans angrier than normal. New Yorkers, already on edge having to watch Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in yet another Super Bowl, watched as the Mavericks came into the Garden and left the city with a win and Kristaps Porzingis. Only thing they were missing was black ski masks as they flew over Gotham in their getaway jet. As if the 13-game home losing streak isn’t enough to deal with, Knicks fans were giving farewell standing ovations to Dirk Nowitzki and welcoming sensational rookie Luka Doncic to the Mecca, while Mark Cuban was busy finessing James Dolan like he was on an episode of Shark Tank. Before any other NBA sharks could chime in with an offer, Porzingis, whose name was not amongst those being thrown around the trade market, was moved in blockbuster deal that caught the entire basketball world by surprise.
To recap once more, the Knicks received Dennis Smith Jr., DeAndre Jordan, Wesley Matthews and two future first round picks, though I have doubts Jordan and Matthews ever see the inside of a Knicks uniform. The Mavericks received Porzingis, Tim Hardaway Jr., along with his awful contract, Trey Burke and Courtney Lee. At first glance, one would think Dallas won this deal. They add another young star to team with The Boy Wonder, Doncic, and Harrison Barnes. However, what if there’s more to the Porzingis story? What if Knicks officials have reason to believe there’s more to his injury? It takes more time to order chicken minis at a Manhattan Chik-fil-a than it took Dolan to move Porzingis. Could it be they are skeptical of his long-term health and took the first deal offered? This is something to keep an eye on as the Mav’s have already announced Porzingis will sit the rest of the season.
As for the Knicks, their intentions are clear, or at least fans hope so. The quest for Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving has begun. The Knicks have cleared up enough cap space to offer two max deals this offseason. It is now up to Dolan and the organization to sell a vision of the future to Durant and Irving. However, the Knicks will have the opportunity to make a free agent splash even if they miss out on their top two targets. 2019’s star studded free agency class will additionally consist of big time talent such as Kawhi Leonard, Jimmy Butler, Klay Thompson and Demarcus Cousins. The next tier also boasts impressive talent capable of winning games such as Kemba Walker, Nikola Vucevic, Julius Randle and Eric Bledsoe.
As an added bonus to free agents who will consider New York, the Knicks are all but guaranteed to be making a top three selection in this June’s loaded NBA draft.
Zion, KD and Uncle Drew in the orange and blue? A lot of happy basketball fans could very well be conceiving the next generation of Knicks fans in the Big Apple this summer.