By LESLIE ANNE DOMINIQUE
It was announced on Thursday that the New York Knicks traded, Kristaps Porzingis along with Trey Burke, Courtney Lee and Tim Hardaway Jr. to the Dallas Mavericks in exchange for Deandre Jordan, Dennis Smith Jr, Wesley Matthews and two future first-round picks.
Porzingis, a 7-foot-3 Latvian, first round draft pick, was once booed by Knicks fans when he took the court. However, upon realization of his undeniable talent, averaging 22.7 points per game, he soon became the King of New York.
So, why exactly did the Knicks trade New York’s golden boy?
Along with being out this entire season due to an ACL injury, rumors had been speculating that the All-Star athlete wanted out of New York. Having allegedly skipped meetings regarding his future on the team, management began to make moves for the removal of Porzingis. After all there was no agreement for an extension to his contract before this season.
A meeting was held this Thursday with management in which Porzingis expressed his disdain for the team’s future plans. General manager Scott Perry says he “no longer wanted to be a part of our group.” Upon what seemed to be an instantaneous meeting, the Knicks granted Porzingis’s wish to be traded to the Dallas Maverick’s.
Although management has faced serious backlash due to the block buster trade, Steve Mills, president of the Knicks, stated while on a conference call, “We feel like we did the right thing. When you try to think about how you want to build your team for the long term, you don’t want to commit a max [contract] to a player who clearly says to you he doesn’t want to be here. That would be a disservice for our organization and disservice to our fans.”
Hours after the announcement, Porzingis addressed fans on Twitter saying, “New York will always have a special place in my heart. Grateful for everybody who made this journey so special for my family and I.”“The Unicorn” left New York with a heartfelt message but also with many questions about the future of the franchise.
The Knicks haven’t had legendary athletes since the 1970s when Walt Frazier brought the city two rings and the 1990s when Patrick Ewing graced the court. Carmelo Anthony was also adored by the city but he tanked in his later years.
The team now desires to build itself around young players. Considering the team has the current lowest standing in the league, they may be a shoe in for Duke’s ultra-talented, Zion Williamson, who is presumed to be the No. 1 2019 NBA Draft Pick.
The Porzingis trade could possibly bring the Knicks into a new era of success, or this may simply be the Knicks running another talented player out of the city.