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Mavericks agree to trade for Knicks star Kristaps Porzingis: report

Kristaps Porzingis' time with the Knicks is coming to an end. | Associated Press

The Mavericks have agreed to acquire Knicks big man Kristaps Porzingis in a blockbuster trade, according to ESPN. The move comes just hours after a report that Porzingis and his agent had met with Knicks management to discuss his concern with the direction of the franchise.

The Knicks will receive Dennis Smith Jr., Wes Matthews and DeAndre Jordan in exchange for Porzingis, Tim Hardaway Jr., Trey Burke and Courtney Lee, per The Ringer. New York will also receive two future first-round picks in the swap, reports The Athletic.

Porzingis, 23, is currently sitting out the 2018-19 season after tearing his ACL last year. He’s set to become a restricted free agent this summer after the Knicks declined to sign him to an extension before the deadline. Now the two sides are parting ways less than four years after he was drafted with the fourth overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft.

Prior to his injury, Porzingis was on his way to becoming one of the top players in the league. He was averaging 22.7 points and 6.3 rebounds over 48 games in 2017-18 when his season prematurely ended. From beyond the arc, he had steadily improved to the point where he was hitting 40 percent of his threes while taking nearly five per game.

The addition of Porzingis will allow the Mavericks to go into next season with an exceptional young one-two punch in the big man and 2018 first-round pick Luka Doncic. The team had been searching for its new cornerstones to build around with Dirk Nowitzki’s career nearing its end, and it appears to have the foundation now in Porzingis and Doncic.

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.

For the Knicks, the decision to move on from Porzingis couldn’t have been easy, but he had reportedly been growing discontent being with the team. Smith, a 2017 first-round pick with loads of offensive talent, gives their backcourt a potential piece to build around, while Matthews and Jordan have expiring contracts that’ll provide loads of cap space in the summer.

According to one analysis, the Knicks could have enough space to offer multiple max contracts and potentially rebuild their roster on the fly. In the meantime, they have young pieces such as Smith and 2018 first-round pick Kevin Knox.