When the New York Knicks traded Kristaps Porzingis to the Dallas Mavericks on January 31, it seemed like the Knicks had pressed the panic button by not getting enough in return for the 7'3" Latvian.
That's because the Knicks had received bountiful offers for Porzingis 20 months earlier from the Boston Celtics and the Phoenix Suns.
However, Marc Berman of the New York Post reported that the Knicks did not get beaten by the Mavericks in the trade. Instead, they got everything they could from Dallas because Porzingis had lost much of the trade value he had in 2017, according to Berman's sources.
The Knicks ended up receiving Dennis Smith Jr., Wesley Matthews, DeAndre Jordan and one or two future first-round draft choices (most likely in 2021 and a protected pick in 2023).
Smith is a prospect who is improving and still on his rookie deal. Matthews and Jordan are both on expiring contracts.
The Knicks wanted draft picks, expiring contracts and an improving player still on his rookie deal. The Mavericks met all the requirements.
The Celtics and Suns offered considerably more assets, and the Phoenix deal would have put the Knicks in a position to draft Lauri Markkanen, a player that former team president Phil Jackson held in high regard.
The trade capital that existed in 2017 was no longer available in 2019, according to a source Berman quoted in the Post.
"Teams weren't knocking their doors down," the source said regarding Porzingis' trade value. "They got some interest, but not like that [Phoenix, Boston offer]."
The point Berman made in his column is that Knicks president Steve Mills did not get fleeced, and he got as much for Porzingis as he could have.
The key for the Knicks will be getting high-profile free agents to sign with the team in the offseason because they have $74 million in cap space.
If they win the draft lottery, that will give them additional capital to upgrade the roster.
Mack on his way to Charlotte
The Atlanta Hawks waived guard Shelvin Mack shortly after he was traded to the team by the Memphis Grizzlies.
While his stay in Atlanta was momentary, it allowed the Hawks to open up salary cap space.
Mack has reportedly been claimed by the Charlotte Hornets, according to a tweet from Shams Charania of Stadium and The Athletic.
The 6'3" guard was averaging 7.9 points per game and shooting 41.4 percent from the field with the Grizzlies. The 28-year-old Mack has a career average of 6.6 ppg and a 42.5 shooting percentage.
Bulls not buying out Lopez
Chicago Bulls center Robin Lopez appeared to be a prime buyout candidate as the trade deadline approached.
However, Bulls team president John Paxson does not have plans to waive Lopez at this time, per K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune.
Paxson did acknowledge that plans could change, but as of now, Lopez is staying with the Bulls. Lopez is averaging 6.6 points and 3.0 rebounds per game while shooting 54.3 percent from the field.
"My feeling right now—it can change—is Robin will be with us," Paxson said. "Our players love him. He's a great teammate. We don't feel it's an absolute given that we have to just buy a guy out to help another team."