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Knicks Rumors: Kristaps Porzingis Was Offered to Teams Before Demanding Trade

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistDecember 11, 2019

Dallas Mavericks forward Kristaps Porzingis (6) celebrates sinking a 3-point basket in the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Clippers in Dallas, Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2019. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press

The New York Knicks reportedly began shopping Kristaps Porzingis last season even before he asked to be traded. 

According to ESPN's Ramona Shelburne, the Knicks gauged interest in Porzingis in early 2019 and offered him to the New Orleans Pelicans as part of a package for Anthony Davis, but the offer was turned down.

Porzingis reportedly later caught wind that the Knicks were having trade discussions with the Dallas Mavericks, which led the Latvian big man to request a move to the Los Angeles Clippers, Brooklyn Nets, Toronto Raptors or Miami Heat.

Instead, the Knicks sent Porzingis, Courtney Lee, Tim Hardaway Jr. and Trey Burke to Dallas for DeAndre Jordan, Wesley Matthews, Dennis Smith Jr., an unprotected 2021 first-round pick and a top-10 protected 2023 first-rounder.

The trade was completed on Jan. 31, 2019, and Porzingis went on to miss the remainder of the 2018-19 season while recovering from an ACL.

Although he didn't request a trade to Dallas, Porzingis and the Mavs came to terms on a five-year, $158.25 million maximum contract in July.

Porzingis, who was named an All-Star for the first time in 2017-18 prior to getting hurt, has been a big-time contributor in Dallas thus far. In 22 games this season, the 24-year-old is averaging 16.4 points, 8.7 rebounds and 2.0 blocks.

He has struggled somewhat as a shooter, hitting just 39.8 percent from the field, but Porzingis figures to continue improving the further removed he gets from the knee injury.

Porzingis has the benefit of playing alongside MVP candidate Luka Doncic, which means he can afford to come along slowly. With Doncic leading the way and Porzingis lending support, the Mavs are 16-7 this season, which is good for third place in the Western Conference standings.

While the Mavericks are thriving, the Knicks continue to struggle to the tune of an NBA-worst 4-20 record. That led to the Knicks firing head coach David Fizdale last week after less than two years on the job.

The trade has worked out in Porzingis' favor thus far, and unless one of the two first-round picks acquired in the deal turns into a star for the Knicks, it could go down as one of the most lopsided trades in team history.