DETROIT – The Dallas Mavericks traded point guard Dennis Smith Jr., center DeAndre Jordan, guard/forward Wesley Matthews and two future first-round draft picks to the New York Knicks on Thursday for forward Kristaps Porzingis, and guards Tim Hardaway Jr., Courtney Lee and Trey Burke.
The two picks will be a 2021 unprotected first-round pick, and a Top 10 protected pick in 2023.
In a related move, the Mavs also requested waivers on rookie forward Ray Spalding, who spent the bulk of this season with the Texas Legends of the G-League.
Proprietor Mark Cuban extended his heartfelt gratitude to the players the Mavs traded away.
“First, thank you to Wes, Dennis and DJ for all the hard work they put in on and off the court, Cuban told Mavs.com. “They helped us move forward from some difficult years
“Of course we are excited to have KP, Trey, Timmy Hardaway and Courtney Lee. We expect big things from all four guys.”
Smith was the ninth overall pick of the 2017 NBA Draft and is averaging 12.9 points this season. He also picked up his second career triple-double on Wednesday — ironically against the Knicks – when he finished that game with 13 points, a season-high tying 10 rebounds and a career-high 15 assists.
Meanwhile, Jordan was the heart and soul of the Mavs’ rebounding chores. Acquired last summer via free agency, Jordan averages 11 points and is second in the NBA in both rebounds (13.7) and field goal shooting (64.4 percent).
Also, Matthews spent three-plus seasons with the Mavs and averaged 13.1 points this year while being one of the team’s premier perimeter defenders.
In return, Porzingis, 23, is the primary player the Mavs are receiving, and a player they hope will be one of their core cornerstones for many years to come. The 7-3, 240-pounder will become a restricted free agent this summer, but others have said he has expressed a desire to play with Mavs rookie Luka Doncic, who will turn 20 next month.
Porzingis, who was named to last year’s All-Star game, tweeted a video of him talking with Doncic during halftime of the game the Mavs played in New York against the Knicks on Wednesday night. The tweet had 8,000 retweets and 25,000 likes in the first 20 minutes after it was posted.
Sidelined since late last season with a torn left ACL injury, Porzingis has career averages of 17.8 points and 7.1 rebounds after being the fourth overall pick of the 2015 draft. The injury occurred during a Feb. 6 game against Milwaukee last season, and Porzingis missed the final 28 games last season and has sat out the 50 games the Knicks have played this season.
Also, Hardaway led the Knicks in scoring this season with 19.1 points per game, Burke is averaging 11.8 points, and Lee averaged 4.7 points while playing just 13.3 minutes per contest.
Because the trade hadn’t been officially announced yet, by NBA rules, coach Rick Carlisle couldn’t discuss it during his pre-game press conference prior to the Mavs’ game tonight against the Detroit Pistons. After the trade was announced, Cuban was ecstatic about the players the Mavs got in return.
“All are established in this league, and of course KP has been an All-Star,” Cuban said. “I can’t wait to see them playing for the Mavs.”