In what turned into a whirlwind Thursday, the New York Knicks struck a deal with the Dallas Mavericks, according to literally any NBA media source you can think of, sending three players to Texas in order to acquire the services of former Marquette guard Wesley Matthews, along with two other now former Mavericks.
Okay, okay, okay, the headline is misleading. This trade is always going to be remembered as “The Kristaps Porzingis Trade,” as any level headed NBA analyst will tell you that the 7’3” Latvian is the primary piece of this trade, even though he’s still sitting out this season while recovering from an ACL injury. Things got completely wild with this deal coming through today. I’m going to drop in tweets from everyone’s favorite NBA insider, Adrian Wojnarowski. Keep your eyes on the timestamps.
Reporting with @ZachLowe and @RamonaShelburne: In meeting with management today, Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis expressed his concern with the losing, franchise direction and an uncertainty that a culture is developing that will enable sustainable organizational success.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 31, 2019
Porzingis wants to play for a winner in New York, but is searching for clarity on his future role with the team and Knicks direction. Porzingis -- out with an ACL injury --- can be a restricted free agent this summer. https://t.co/JtZzQ02FCI— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 31, 2019
Kristaps Porzingis left the Knicks with the impression that he prefers to be traded, league sources tell @ramonashelburne and me. Knicks are expected to commence discussions on moving him ahead of next Thursday's deadline.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 31, 2019
Let's try that again: Dallas is finalizing a deal to land Kristaps Porzingis, league sources tell ESPN. https://t.co/WacB71H1JW— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 31, 2019
New York has agreed with Dallas on trade that includes Kristaps Porzingis, Courtney Lee, Tim Hardaway Jr., for Wesley Matthews, Dennis Smith Jr. and DeAndre Jordan, league sources tell ESPN. Players and agents are being notified of particulars. Deal may include more draft assets.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 31, 2019
THAT’S JUST OVER TWO HOURS.
WHAT. THE. HELL. IS. HAPPENING.
Matthews is in the fourth year of a four year contract that is paying him over $18 million this season. As such, he’s a candidate to have his contract bought out by the Knicks, but at the time of this writing, there’s nothing official to indicate that’s happening, at least not right away. The NBA’s trade deadline is February 7th, so there’s still a week to go for the Knicks to attempt to leverage what they have on their roster into another deal, at least in theory.
The former Golden Eagle and former Marquette TBT team head coach is averaging 13.1 points, 2.3 rebounds, and 2.3 assists per game while starting in all 44 of the 50 Mavericks games that’s he’s appeared in this season. In fact, over the past seven seasons, Matthews has started in all but one of his 469 appearances in the NBA. That’s an amazing level of consistency for a guy who went undrafted in 2009, fought his way onto the Utah Jazz roster and then impressed then-head coach Jerry Sloan so much that he shipped the starting shooting guard out of town in order to get more minutes for Matthews on a playoff team.
I would imagine that, as someone who is still averaging over 29 minutes per game and 13 points per game while shooting 38% from long range, Matthews will get attention from other NBA teams to continue his run in the league. The question that now faces us is whether that will be over the next few days or if Matthews will be waiting until the summer to find a new permanent address.
As you can tell, this is something of a developing story, so we’ll have more on this as needed down the road.