At around 2:30 pm (central time) we got news that the 23-year old superstar power forward out of Latvia, Kristaps Porzingis, was being traded to the Dallas Mavericks from the New York Knicks. Now, this is obviously the first blockbuster deal of this seasons trade deadline, but is it as good as it seems?
The Mavericks got Porzingis, who is 7’3, and known as a “Unicorn,” but was he all that the Mavericks needed? In my opinion, no. They got rid a young, talented point guard in Dennis Smith Jr., a “three and D” player in Wesley Matthews, and an athletic rim protector in Deandre Jordan. They lost two of their three best defenders. This is huge for a team that is 12thin the NBA in defensive rating.
Yes, they did get one of the best power forwards in the NBA, but was it worth losing that much defense? Probably yes. They will now be able to spread the floor with even more size and be able to get out and run the fast break with more players, but for how long? Porzingis is on an expiring deal and could easily leave the Mavericks if he ends up being traded to them. This is a risky deal, but it could end up really well for the Mavs if they can get him to stay – or, it can spiral out of control if they flare out in the first round of the playoffs, get a bad draft pick, and lose Porzingis in free agency.
What does this mean for the Grizzlies? It’s a good thing. Hopefully, it can help convince the front office that the Grizz need to tank and go ahead and trade Mike and Marc to build for the future. This adds one more team into contention for a playoff spot in the Western Conference, which means the Grizzlies are just that much farther behind.