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Report: Knicks trading Kristaps Porzingis to Mavericks, opening projected $73M in cap space next summer

Kurt Helin of ProBasketballTalk breaks down what the Kristaps Porzingis trade means for both the Knicks and Mavericks moving forward.

The Knicks are closing an unhappy Kristaps Porzingis era and opening the door to a tantalizing unknown that could include Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving or maybe even both.

Marc Stein of The New York Times:

The Knicks unloading Tim Hardaway Jr. (due $37,125,000 over the next two years) and Courtney Lee (due $12,759,670 next season) is huge. New York now projects to have about $73 million in cap space this summer – enough for two max slots, depending on the players’ experience level. The possibility of landing star free agents like Durant and Irving is electrifying.

So is the Luka Doncic-Kristaps Porzingis pairing the Mavericks just formed. Those two budding stars give Dallas a more certain pathway upward. That is such a fun young core.

The Knicks’ future is far more unknown. They’re left with Dennis Smith Jr. (who maybe should have been in New York all along), Kevin Knox, Frank Ntilikina and all that cap space. Capitalizing on that cap room is essential to justifying losing a young star like Porzingis. But cap spaces goes further in New York. This is a more-logical risk there.

In the meantime, DeAndre Jordan and Wesley Matthews have little use on the tanking Knicks. Those two veterans could get flipped to winners before the deadline or, failing that, bought out. If it looks as if they’ll get bought out, that could stall trade talks across the league. It did not seem players so productive would be available post-buyout this season, and teams would generally prefer those direct signings to surrendering assets in a trade.