So a major trade went down, and I'll be honest, my initial response to it was:
I'm still a bit shell shocked. I'm titling this piece: "Just chuck it" because I want to get some analysis out, but it's a Friday, and I don't have a ton of time for review, but I do have time for some thoughts. So I'll chuck them up and hope some stick. Here goes.
The Dallas Mavericks have traded Dennis Smith Jr, DeAndre Jordan, Wesley Matthews, and two future first round picks in exchange for Kristaps Porzingis, Tim Hardaway Jr., Courtney Lee.
Kristaps Porzingis is an "All-Star" stretch four that has been injured all season and is just ending his rookie contract. DeAndre Jordan is on a one-year deal, and the Mavericks do not hold his bird rights.
A lot of these players are not good
Here's how the players the Knicks get look:
|DeAndre Jordan||Wesley Matthews||Dennis Smith Jr.||Average PG||Average WING||Average BIG|
|Position||C (5.0)||SG (2.0)||PG (1.0)||PG (1.0)||GF (2.5)||FC (4.5)|
Via the player comparison engine Reminder, ADJP48 is a player's production not adjusted for position. PoP48 is the point margin a player would gain your team against a neutral opponent, with neutral teammates, in a 48-minute game. Wins Produced is the wins a player produced.
And here are the player's the Mavericks get:
|Courtney Lee||Tim Hardaway Jr.||Kristaps Porzingis||Average WING||Average BIG|
|Position||GF (3.0)||SG (2.2)||FC (4.5)||GF (2.5)||FC (4.5)|
DeAndre Jordan is the only above average player to get decent minutes this season in the trade. And that leads to a lot of other questions.
Kristaps Porzingis is a Risk
I know he's an "All-Star," I know a lot of people are high on his upside, but the reality is Kristaps Porzingis has never really been a good player. It's possible he's played out of position as a Power Forward / Center, where he doesn't rebound that well. It's possible his shot selection will improve under better coaching than the Knicks. Regardless, this far in his career, his production has been solidly below average.
He's also had significant injuries that seem to correlate to his production. Namely, the total games he's played each NBA season (72, 66, 48, and if he suited up for every remaining game he could only get to 31 this season) relates to his production (0.251, 0.218, 0.196 for his raw numbers, that last number was below average regardless of position last season)
He's also just exiting his rookie deal and will be commanding a raise. A very similar situation happened recently with the Milwaukee Bucks and Jabari Parker. Parker was a promising rookie that also had major injuries. He was looking to get a big payday and I was terrified the Bucks would give it to him. Luckily, the Bulls bit the bullet and offered him $20 million. The Knicks were going to have a similar issue, but the Mavs have taken away that choice. Oddly enough, they also did something similar back in the day with Harrison Barnes. Barnes looked promising young and was due for a big raise. Unfortunately, he'd been injured and his game looked off. Luckily, Kevin Durant took the option off the table for the Warriors. The Mavericks gambled, and Barnes has been terrible and expensive for them. We'll see what happens with Porzingis.
Why? New York side
The reality is I like what New York did here. They shed a bad contract in Tim Hardaway Jr. and a "Jabari Bullet" in Kristaps Porzingis. They also acquired DeAndre Jordan who is quite good. They also got draft picks. On a surface level, this is a good move. I do think sadly they'll let DeAndre Walk, so it won't be as good as it could be, but shedding bad contracts and acquiring assets is a good thing.
WHY? Dallas Side
Unlike New York, Dallas has an outside shot of the playoffs this year. And DeAndre Jordan was leading the charge. With an ever-improving All-Star worthy Doncic, they could have been a threat with the right move. Even if DeAndre wasn't the path going forward, Wesley Matthews and DeAndre were set to come off the books. Now they have a mediocre guard in Tim Hardaway Jr. and an unknown in Kristaps who will likely eat up the rest of their cap after Barnes' massive contract.
One possibility is they weren't sure on DeAndre's future with the squad and decided it made sense to cash him in for something rather than "let him walk for nothing." And it's possible Kristaps Porzingis will have market value that they can exploit in the future. All in all, though I feel the gamble of Porzingis turning into a productive player or being a valuable trade asset in the future wasn't worth risking a playoff push. Tack on Tim Hardaway Jr.'s contract, and sadly the Mavericks stumble this season. That said, Barnes and Hardaway's deals are up soon. Doncic looks great. So this team can easily turn good quickly in the very near future. That said, this move probably means they don't make the playoffs this season. We'll see if Atlanta is up for another draft day trade.