Mavericks acquire Porzingis from Knicks in blockbuster trade

January 31, 2019

The Dallas Mavericks instantly created a young, two-star nucleus for the franchise's future, as the team announced that it acquired All-Star forward Kristaps Porzingis, along with guards Tim Hardaway Jr., Courtney Lee, and Trey Burke, in exchange for guard Dennis Smith Jr., center DeAndre Jordan, guard Wesley Matthews, and two future first-round draft picks.

In a related move, Dallas has also requested waivers on forward Ray Spalding.

For Dallas, getting Porzingis was a steal, as it provides the Mavericks with another youthful star to pair with the team's current standout rookie, Luka Doncic.  A skilled, mobile big with three-point range and impressive shotblocking ability, Porzingis is an All-Star caliber player, but one who nevertheless comes with some health risks.

Porzingis suffered a torn left ACL against Milwaukee on Feb. 6, 2018, ending his 2017-18 season. He has yet to play in 2018-19, and may not play at all this season.

Porzingis (7-3, 240) holds career averages of 17.8 points, 7.1 rebounds, 2.0 blocks and 31.0 minutes per game in 186 games (185 starts) with New York. He averaged a career-high 22.7 points, 6.6 rebounds and a career-high 2.4 blocks in 48 games (all starts) for the Knicks last season en route to being named a 2018 NBA All-Star.

The former fourth overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft appeared in 72 games (all starts) for the Knicks as a rookie in 2015-16, averaging 14.3 points, a career-high 7.3 rebounds and 1.9 blocks in 28.4 minutes on his way to being named to the 2016 NBA All-Rookie First Team.

A native of Liepaja, Latvia, PorziƆgis began his professional career with Spain’s Cajasol Seville. He was a two-time recipient of the ACB All-Young Players Team (2014, 2015) and was also named a EuroCup Rising Star in 2015.

To get Porzingis, Dallas had to take on some salary, adding Hardaway Jr., Burke, and Lee.

Hardaway Jr. (6-6, 205) holds averages of 13.0 points, 2.5 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 25.9 minutes in 384 career games (162 starts) with New York and Atlanta. He was averaging a team-high 19.1 points for the Knicks this season. Hardaway is the son of former Maverick Tim Hardaway Sr.

Lee (6-5, 215) is an 11-year veteran from Western Kentucky, who holds career averages of 9.9 points, 2.7 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 1.0 steal and 27.9 minutes per game in 765 games (505 starts) with Orlando, New Jersey, Houston, Boston, Memphis, Charlotte and New York.

Burke (6-1, 175) holds career averages of 11.0 points, 2.1 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 24.1 minutes in 336 games (127 starts) with Washington, Utah and New York.  Burke, who is in his sixth NBA season, was named the National College Player of the Year as a sophomore in 2013 after leading Michigan to the NCAA Tournament championship game, where it lost to Louisville.

In exchange for giving up its injured young All-Star, New York gained a lot of cap space for a strong run at the upcoming crop of star free agent talent that will be available this offseason.  That cap space will come via the expiring deals of Jordan and Matthews.

Meanwhile, Smith Jr. (6-3, 195) remains an interesting point guard prospect who became expendable in Dallas once Doncic emerged.  Smith was drafted by Dallas with the ninth overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft.

In 101 career games (all starts) over a season-and-a-half with Dallas, Smith averaged 14.5 points, 3.5 rebounds, 4.9 assists, 1.1 steals and 29.3 minutes. He recorded his second career triple-double with 13 points, a career-high-tying 10 rebounds and a career-high 15 assists at New York on Wednesday, Jan. 30.

Jordan (6-11, 265) signed with Dallas this offseason and averaged 11.0 points, 13.7 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.1 blocks and 31.1 minutes in 50 games (all starts) with the team. He holds the highest rebounding average in franchise history (13.7 rpg).

Matthews (6-5, 220) signed with Dallas as a free agent in July 2015, and averaged 12.9 points, 3.1 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 33.3 minutes in 258 games (all starts) with the club. He went 616-of-1,669 (.369) from deep with the Mavericks, which are the sixth-most triples in franchise history.

Spalding (6-10, 215) appeared in one game as rookie for Dallas this season. He was selected by Philadelphia in the second round (56th overall pick) of the 2018 NBA Draft, before having draft rights traded with Kostas Antetokounmpo (the 60th overall pick) to Dallas in exchange for the 54th overall pick Shake Milton.

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