The “Woj Bomb” I never thought would happen: Kristaps Porzingis – KP, our Unicorn – traded to the Dallas Mavericks.
This is a very layered situation that has rattled the Knicks universe unlike any other event in my lifetime. Trading the supposed “franchise savior” for salary cap space to try and lure two max free agents (see: KD, Kahwi, Klay and Kyrie). We’ve been down this road before chasing the true big fish in free agency but we haven’t been down the road of trading the Knicks’ greatest asset for pennies on the dollar.
From the moment he tore his ACL, the whispers and signs from the Garden were consistently ominous. Discord and bouts with the Front Office to a looming contract situation, KP’s status with the Knicks was trending in a downward direction. Something clearly came to a head here and the Knicks acted swiftly.
There is a whole lot to unpack here, and I will in future posts, but here is my initial take:
I was just completely numb and shocked. I didn’t think this was day was possible so soon. Maybe after the summer of striking out, again. But now? For such an underwhelming return? Just stunning.
Once the rawness of the trade dissipated, I started to see things with a more level head. KP and his management team, headed up by his brother, had become a difficult force to handle – for all the wrong reasons. Yes, KP’s ceiling is transcendent like so many true superstars in the NBA, however, his star could easily be diminished in a flash, too. Staying on the court and general fatigue have plagued Porzingis from the moment he arrived stateside. Nevertheless, he’s Dallas’ problem now.
This effective hard reset by Steve Mills and Scott Perry – who are now responsible for this pivotal moment in Knicks history – has the Knicks positioned to strike big in the summer of 2019 with over $74 million in cap space. They HAVE to hit a homerun here or heads are assured to roll…
Now flushed with young, controllable assets in Kevin Knox, Mitchell Robinson, Alonzo Trier and Dennis Smith Jr., combined with two more draft picks AND a potential top three pick this year, the Front Office has a completely blank canvas to work with.
I’m sure it wasn’t easy, but moving on from KP was the band-aid the Knicks needed to pull off.