Here at KnicksNation we wanted to take things a step further with our writers all contributing to a piece and each evaluate aspects and angles of the trade that fans may be interested to hear outside of the general framework of the deal.
Below you can see various questions answered…
How does the inclusion of Dennis Smith Jr affect Frank Ntilikina’s future? (Kalil Farhat)
Frank Ntilikina was certainly one of the biggest losers as far as this deal went. We had heard speculation for quite some time that the Knicks front office was looking to trade for DSJ and it finally came to fruition. Now this doesn’t necessarily mean that Ntilikina’s time with the franchise is over, but it has certainly made it unclear. Coach Fizdale commented that he’s going to have the ball in DSJ’s hands a lot and challenge him to improve his defense as well. DSJ isn’t a lost cause by any means either, he’s a talented player whose per 36 averages are very good when he wasn’t playing next to Luka Doncic.
Frank Ntilikina is going to have to show he can play off the ball and improve his jumpshot. It would not at all be shocking to see him traded, as he was drafted by the previous front office and not Scott Perry. If he isn’t traded by the deadline, we’ll have to wait and see what it looks like with him playing alongside DSJ. But overall, the move to grab DSJ was in indication that the front office doesn’t see Frank as the point guard of the future and potentially not even a point guard at all if they see him as a combo guard.
What’s the plan if Durant and Kyrie don’t come to NY this offseason? (Kalil Farhat)
After this trade, Knicks fans hopes and dreams are to see Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving suit up in the blue and orange next year, and potentially even Anthony Davis if possible. Now we’ve been here before like back in the summer of 2010 when the franchise wanted LeBron. Although this time feels different, with a better front office and space for 2 max players, along with a young core, we have to prepare for the possibility that those guys don’t come.
In that case, the Knicks will have over $70 million but no free agents that they should max out (except Kawhi who isn’t coming). The front office in this case needs to stay the course and roll that money over into the following season. Spend it overpaying players for 1 year deals so that money comes off the books for the following summer. Continue building through the draft and hang on to that cap flexibility moving forward until you do land the stars that you desire. It would absolutely be a disaster and misuse of money if the Knicks panic and go max out guys like Tobias Harris and Kemba Walker. That doesn’t move the Knicks into contender status and locking those guys into 5 year deals would hamper the franchise moving forward.
The cap space accumulated now has to be used to build a true contender, not a team that can compete for the 7 seed in the eastern conference. The front office have taken the right steps so far but they must exercise patience this offseason if their top free agent targets end up unattainable.
How is the fanbase reacting to the Porzingis deal? (Kareem Gaynor)
The Kristaps Porzingis deal sent shockwaves throughout the NBA yesterday when the Knicks shipped him to the Dallas Mavericks along with Tim Hardaway Jr, Courtney Lee and Trey Burke.
In return they received Dennis Smith Jr, DeAndre Jordan and Wesley Matthews, along with two first-round picks in 2021 and 2023.
My first reaction was ‘whoa, someone’s trying to get fired’, along with other words I won’t write here. But after reading that Kristaps wanted out, I felt different about the man I once labeled Porzingod.
Others felt the same tho that the Knicks are gambling:
— New York Post Sports (@nypostsports) February 1, 2019
It’s been reported that GMs were stunned about the trade and no one could even offer a better deal for the All-Star forward out of Latvia.
But with Anthony Davis of the New Orleans Pelicans requesting a trade, we figured he’d be moved first.
Anthony Davis: TRADE ME
Kristaps Porzingis: TRADE ME
Knicks *trade Porzingis to Dallas*
Anthony Davis: pic.twitter.com/zLr9lIKg2Q
— TLSM (@TLSportsMedia) January 31, 2019
Overall, it’s a huge gamble. And we won’t know until July whether it pays off or not. But with $71 million in cap space and a lead in the tank for one of the Duke freshman, the sky truly is the limit.
What are the Knicks planning to do with DeAndre Jordan and Wes Matthews? (Tim LaDuca)
This is an interesting question especially when you consider how these players make the Knicks better right now. Jordan immediately becomes the starting center while Kanter tweets about playing time and Luke Kornet and Mitchell Robinson develop their skills. Jordan is only under contract for the remainder of this year, becoming a free agent in the summer. While he could finish the season out for the Knicks, it may be wise to trade Jordan away to a playoff team for some more assets. The Knicks need to act quickly as the trade deadline is coming up on Feb. 7.
As for Matthews, as a valuable scorer averaging 13 ppg this season, he seems to replace a void created by Tim Hardaway Jr. However, Matthews is also a free agent this summer. He could be and should be trade bait for playoff teams.
As of right now, Rob Goldberg at Bleacher Report has indicated the Golden State Warriors are interested in Matthews.
The only catch is that the Knicks are going to be hard-pressed to find teams willing to trade for Jordan and Matthews contracts, so there’s good odds a buy out for both players happens before March 1st so they are playoff eligible and so the Knicks can shed those contracts. While Jordan and Matthews are good players, they may act counter intuitively to the tanking process for the #1 pick. Hold off on buying a Knicks-Jordan jersey for now.
Who won the trade? (Tim LaDuca)
At first glance, it is shocking that the Knicks traded their best player for a second year PG and two rentals. Even the two first round picks cause question because Porzingis is a proven perennial all-star talent and the first round picks bring nothing but optimism. That is why this trade will have to play out a year before anyone can determine a “winner.”
If Porzingis stays healthy and leads Luka Doncic and Dallas to the Finals, then it would be hard to argue against the move being in favor of the Mavs. However, on the New York side of things, the biggest acquisition was freeing cap space. If the Knicks land huge free agents like Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant, then who needs Porzingis? The Knicks won the trade…especially if they draft wisely with the two draft picks they acquired.
So while it is a wishy washy anger, it is the correct answer: We cannot tell who won the trade…yet. Just like everything with this Knicks season, Knicks fans will have to wait and see.
What do you guys think about this trade and the future of the franchise moving forward?