The New York Knicks pulled off a major trade Thursday, one week ahead of the NBA trade deadline by sending Kristaps Porzingis to the Dallas Mavericks. The deal also includes Knicks guards Courtney Lee, Trey Burke, and Tim Hardaway Jr. going to Dallas, and Wes Matthews, Dennis Smith Jr. and DeAndre Jordan going to New York. Draft picks could still be included.
Porzingis is one of the league’s best young players, but has missed all of this season after blowing out his knee last year. Porzingis will sign a one year qualifying offer with Dallas this summer, and become an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2020.
The most glaring impact it has on the Jazz is that the pairing of to-be Rookie of the Year Luka Doncic and Porzingis is one of the most intriguing young cores in the league, and unfortunately now compete in the West against the Jazz.
However, it also impacts the Jazz this year in free agency.
The Knicks will now likely have two max free agency spots this summer, and could make a major splash in free agency. Truthfully, regardless of whether they land two of Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, Kyrie Irving, Jimmy Butler, or Klay Thompson, or are forced to settle for lower level players, the Knicks will spend their cap space this summer.
While those stars might prefer to re-sign with their current teams, or go to either LA team, other lower level free agents, likely those the Jazz could compete for will now have more opportunities to sign elsewhere.
That becomes difficult for the Jazz, even with Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell, selling a free agent on living in Salt Lake City is over New York City is difficult to do. Names like Tobias Harris, Terry Rozier, Khris Middleton and Eric Bledsoe would likely prefer the Knicks over the Jazz.