NBA trade news: Mavs acquire Kristaps Porzingis from Knicks

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A meeting between the Knicks star and team brass left the executives to explore trade talks that grew heated with Dallas only hours later.

The Kristaps Porzingis era in New York is over.

The Knicks star met Thursday with management to express his concern over the team’s direction, and in the wake of the impression he left in that meeting things escalated so quickly that only hours later there were multiple reports that the Mavericks and Knicks were closing in on a deal that would bring Porzingis to Dallas.

The rumors are no longer rumors as the Knicks announced Thursday they have received Dennis Smith Jr. and the expiring contracts of DeAndre Jordan and Wes Matthews in return for Porzingis in a deal with the Mavericks.

Dallas also receives Tim Hardaway Jr., Courtney Lee and Trey Burke as part of the deal.

The Knicks also receive two future first-round picks as compensation from Dallas and, by shedding Hardaway’s and Lee’s contracts create the salary-cap space this summer to pursue two maximum contract free agents.

According to earlier reports, the Knicks began exploring trades in the wake of Thursday’s meeting with Porzingis.

“As is standard for this time of year, we were exploring various options on potential trades,” Scott Perry, general manager of the Knicks said in a release.  “Considering the uncertainty regarding Kristaps’ free-agent status and his request today to be traded, we made a trade that we are confident improves the franchise.  We thank Kristaps, Tim, Courtney and Trey for their contributions and wish them all the best.”

Porzingis is out with an ACL tear and it’s unclear if he will return this season. He’s expected to be re-evaluated in the next few weeks.

His name had been linked to Anthony Davis after the Pelicans star demanded a trade. The Knicks popped up in the trade rumors, with Porzingis being mentioned as a possible part of a package for Davis.

Before Thursday’s development that the team would trade him, Porzingis was trying to figure out his long-term role with a team that has been deeply dysfunctional. There had been increasing tension between Porzingis and the team, rooted in the Knicks’ ongoing struggles (at 10-40, they have the worst record in the league).

Had he stayed in New York, Porzingis had few alternatives. He’s a restricted free-agent this summer, so he had the option of accepting a one-year qualifying offer of $4.5 million for next season with Knicks with no guaranteed money after the 2019-20 season or signing a five-year, $158 million deal with New York.

Moving Porzingis clears enough cap space for the Knicks to sign two max free agents this summer.