For the second time this week, ESPN insider Adrian Wojnarowski caused social media frenzy anew after reporting that the Dallas Mavericks have pried Kristaps Porzingis away from the New York Knicks.
The Knicks are set to acquire Dennis Smith Jr., DeAndre Jordan, Wesley Matthews, and some draft picks as part of the deal.
In addition with Kristaps Porzingis, the Mavericks are going to have Trey Burke, Courtney Lee, and Tim Hardaway Jr. as well.
This trade may have officially commenced this season’s trade week as the deadline is drawing near.
Today, FOX Sports Philippines takes a look on the winners and losers from this blockbuster trade.
WINNER: Kristaps Porzingis
Escaping one of the league’s poorly-managed organizations is a victory in itself for the Latvian forward, especially since he is set to tandem with another European sensation in Luka Doncic.
Before his ACL injury last season, Porzingis shot a career-high 39.5-percent from three-point range, and that was without a strong play-maker. Having Doncic as his running mate would surely pay dividends, as he’ll have an elite floor general who could generate good shots- making them a devastating pick-and-roll duo for the opposing teams.
WINNER: Dennis Smith Jr.
With Doncic taking over the offensive cudgels for the Mavericks, Dennis Smith Jr.’s role and future in team were put into question, especially since he was looking uncomfortable in going more off-guard.
Now that he’s with the Knicks, it looks like he’ll be their starting point guard for the future. The sophomore guard has shown signs of improved play as he came off a triple-double last Wednesday, against the Knicks no less.
With the Knicks set to acquire some additional cap space and draft picks, even if they can’t sign big names this off-season, they’ll still be primed to form a decent, young core composing of Smith Jr, Kevin Knox, Allonzo Trier, and Mitchell Robinson.
WINNER: Luka Doncic
So far, Luka Doncic is looking good as advertised as he almost made this year’s NBA All-Star team. The 19-year-old guard from Slovenia has shown promising signs as the team’s franchise cornerstone- thanks to his elite shot making, especially in clutch situations.
The next step for Mark Cuban, however, is to look for a star that can fit the mold and they are betting that Porzingis is the guy. Once he’s fully healed from his ACL tear, buying low on Porzingis may be the best move that their front office has done in recent memory given their shaky history in acquiring marquee players.
LOSER: Frank Ntilikina
50 games into his second season, the Knicks may have to decide on what to do with Frank Ntilikina, especially with their new acquisitions on board.
He may opt to play as a combo guard along with Smith Jr. But given his struggles on the offensive end, it doesn’t look like to be a good fit. Either he’ll have to improve drastically on offense or he may need to find a new home somewhere in order to realize his full potential.
LOSER: Enes Kanter
From getting multiple DNP-CDs to having his own personal problems, Kanter, whose contract is expiring after this season, is at a career crossroads.
The addition of DeAndre Jordan will surely cut down his minutes further, lowering his value in the market come free agency. However, once Jordan is bought out, Kanter will have his chances to showcase his wares. But with the Knicks looking to tank for the remainder of the season, their younger guys will be favored to soak in more minutes for their development.