Knicks gamble future with Kristaps Porzingis trade ahead of 2019 free agency

Regardless, Porzingis will head to Dallas to link up with fellow European star Luka Doncic, who has been tearing up the National Basketball Association in his rookie season.

By reportedly moving Hardaway and Lee without taking much future salary, the Knicks will have approximately $74.6 million in cap space, per ESPN's Bobby Marks.

Apparently, the death of the Dennis Smith Jr. trade rumors were a bit premature. The Knicks and Mavericks have now finalized the trade.

Without Porzingis, who is recovering from an ACL injury, the Knicks have the worst record in the NBA's Eastern Conference.

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According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, however, no decisions have been made on that front just yet. Then the Knicks will be set up to be big spenders in a free agent market that could include Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, Kyrie Irving and more. They struck out on the A-listers that summer, signing Amar'e Stoudemire to a huge contract when the three headliners instead teamed up in Miami. The Mavericks took Smith one pick later, and he posted the second triple-double of his career Wednesday when Dallas won at Madison Square Garden. Interestingly, New York passed on the player and drafted Frank Ntilikina with the No. 8 overall pick. While the team chalked up the six games missed being due to back soreness and an illness, Mavs coach Rick Carlisle later acknowledged that "business stuff" was behind the absence.

However, The Athletic reports that Porzingis intends to tell the Mavericks he plans to sign the one-year qualifying offer this summer in order to his unrestricted free agency in 2020, which could challenge their plans.

The Knicks now have their point guard of the present and future in Dennis Smith Jr. and plenty of cap space this offseason to acquire talent.

However, Mills and Perry saw otherwise, noticing how often Porzingis was in the gym and how long he stayed when he did come.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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