What does future hold for Knicks, Mavs after blockbuster deal?

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Keith Allison | Wikicommons

Matteo Flamio

In the wake of a shocking blockbuster trade in which New York Knicks’ star Kristaps Porzingis was sent to the Dallas Mavericks, fans of both teams are left wondering what’s next for their respective franchises.

It’s already clear that the Mavericks now have their future set up, as they paired Porzingis with rookie sensation Luka Doncic. Porzingis has already said that he wants to sign a long-term deal with the team and Dallas owner Mark Cuban has said that he hopes that “he’ll be a Maverick for the next 20 years.”

With the additions of Tim Hardaway Jr., Courtney Lee and Trey Burke, as well as Porzingis officially out for the rest of the year, the Mavericks will be able to have their two young players continue to develop together in the Western Conference.

The future plans for the Knicks are the true spotlight of this trade. The Knicks received Dennis Smith Jr., DeAndre Jordan, Wesley Matthews and two future first-round picks in 2021 and 2023, but the key aspect was the dumping of Hardaway and Lee’s contracts. Prior to the trade, the Knicks had one max contract spot available for the upcoming season, but now they are able to sign two free agents to max deals.

With this very deep free agent class that is headlined by names like Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and Kawhi Leonard, the Knicks and their fans are expecting to make a massive splash and bring in two of any of the top-tier players. The duo that fans desire most is that of Durant and Kyrie.

After leaving the Oklahoma City Thunder back in 2016 to sign with the dominant Golden State Warriors, Durant has been regarded as both a “snake” and a “cupcake.” The player has expressed that he wants to get the money that he deserves, which would be around a six-year deal for about $170 million from the Knicks, and that he does not want to take another pay cut. He may be hinting at leaving the Warriors not just for the money, but to solidify his own legacy.

Durant, despite being one of the greatest NBA players of all time, jeopardized that legacy by leaving the Thunder and going to what is already the best team in the league. Leaving the Warriors in free agency, joining the Knicks and winning in New York would truly solidify that legacy and, with the very passionate New York fanbase, would practically immortalize him in the sport of basketball.

Irving has previously said to Boston Celtics fans that he wants to resign and stay in Boston, but now that seems less likely.

There are rumors swirling around that he may rejoin LeBron James in Los Angeles because he is not happy with being the “leader” of his own team, which is the main reason he demanded a trade to get out of Cleveland.

If Irving is willing to leave Boston and does not join the Lakers, then the Knicks seem to be an ideal team for the New Jersey native. If it is true that he does not to be the No. 1 on a team, then teaming up with Durant would benefit him.

Clearly, the Knicks do not have to sign these two in order to win games. They can go after other players like Leonard or Kemba Walker, but the combination of Durant and Irving would have the most immediate impact for the Knicks.

To go along with the max contracts, the Knicks are in the mix to get the No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. With the recent rule change, the three worst teams, based on record in the league, have the same percent chance of receiving any of the top-3 picks in the draft. This rule was changed in order to get teams to stray away from tanking. Receiving the first overall pick would mean that Duke University superstar Zion Williamson will be a lock on one’s team.

The Knicks’ dream scenario this upcoming offseason would be to sign Irving and Durant, as well as to get the No. 1 draft spot and draft Williamson. This will make the Knicks an immediate contender, not only in the Eastern Conference but in the entire NBA.