Knicks executives explain decision to trade Kristaps Porzingis

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Knicks executives believe the team is heading in the right direction.

New York traded star forward Kristaps Porzingis to the Mavericks on Thursday in exchange for a package around Dennis Smith Jr. as well as the expiring contracts of DeAndre Jordan and Wes Matthews.

Knicks president Steve Mills and general manager Scott Perry discussed the deal with reporters after the move became official.

“I’m very pleased with what we are getting back in this deal,” Perry said, via ESPN. “We are extremely confident in the direction we are headed.”

Mills said the team felt Porzingis was a great player. But, he told reporters the 23-year-old “made it clear” during a meeting earlier in the day he didn’t want to be part of the organization moving forward.

“We feel like we did the right thing,” Mills said. “When you are thinking in the long-term, you don’t want to commit a max contract to a player that doesn’t want to be here.

“I’m relieved that we know. We want to know if you’re in with us, or not in with us. When he says he doesn’t want to be part of this, then we know.”

Porzingis suffered a torn ACL in February 2018 and has not played this season. He has averaged 17.8 points and 7.1 rebounds over 186 career games.

The Knicks have been one of the worst teams in the NBA this season and will enter their matchup against the Celtics on Friday with a 10-40 record.

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