The New York Knicks are back in business

A few days ago I wrote about Brooklyn Nets and how they became the no. 1 team in New York. I talked about how, without any star, they manage to stand on the 6th position in the East becoming a great destination for free agents. But, last night, something changed in New York, and the Knicks are coming after their throne.

As you probably know, Kristaps Porzingis has been the best player of the team in the last 3 years, but last season he tore his ACL and he never played since then. However, he remained the face of the franchise and everybody expected him to be the star when he would eventually return. This didn’t happen as yesterday Kristaps Porzingis had a discussion with the people who run the organization and he expressed his frustration regarding the direction of the Knicks, as reported by Adrian Wojnarowski. So, the ownership and the GM took a bold decision and started to look for places to trade Porzingis. In just a short time they reached an agreement with the Dallas Mavericks and they sent Porzingis, Courtney Lee and Tim Hardaway Jr. to Texas, while Dennis Smith Jr., DeAndre Jordan, and Wesley Matthews were sent to New York.

This is an incredible trade that I think both teams won and I will explain why. First of all, it may seem weird to trade your best player and the face of the franchise for three good players and some picks. It is indeed, but as Stephen A. Smith said if Porzingis didn’t want to play there any more you don’t really have a choice to make because this will hurt your chances of getting other superstars to come to New York. Therefore, they had to move Porzingis to another team.

Second of all, the trade they made is great because they freed up almost 70 million dollars in cap space. This means that in the summer, the Knicks will be able to get two max contracts so potentially two superstar free agents. If we look at the list of players that will become free agents we observe Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, Kyrie Irving or Kawhi Leonard. With New York being the city that it is and the Knicks being one of the wealthiest organizations in the league, it is quite possible that at least one superstar would join the team.

Maybe some would say: “Ok, but they already had a superstar in Porzingis.”. It is true, the Latvian player was amazing last season averaging 22.7 PPG, 6.6 RPG, 1.2 APG, and 2.4 BPG. In the same time, he is 22 years old and he just suffered a major injury. No one can guarantee that he will come back having the same form as in the past or that he would not get injured again. This is why trading Kristaps Porzingis to eventually get Durant or Irving it is worth it.

If this wasn’t enough, let’s look at the place where New York Knicks are in the standings. They are currently on the last spot in the league, meaning that they have pretty big chances of getting the no. 1 pick. And with that pick, I’m almost sure they would choose Zion Williamson, who has the potential of becoming one of the greatest players in history. A spectacular athlete that will keep the fans happy and would attract other superstars to come to New York.

In conclusion, the future looks bright for the New York Knicks as they can fight for the championship in a couple of years. In the same time, if Porzingis chooses to stay with Dallas they will have there a pretty good team with Luka Doncic. And if Mark Cuban manages to convince another star to join the team then they would really become a force in the West. Overall, this trade is an exciting one as it has the potential of changing the future of the NBA.

David Istrate, info@brainbasketbal.net

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