At 3:50 pm EST on January 31, 2019, Kristaps Porzingis, along with Courtney Lee, Tim Hardaway Jr., and Trey Burke were traded to the Dallas Mavericks for Dennis Smith Jr., Wes Matthews, DeAndre Jordan, and two future first-round picks (one unprotected). Whoa. There are so many layers to address that let’s just get right into it. WTF! Porzingis just got traded! At 7′ 3″ and 240 pounds, Porzingis can do it all; post up, break defenders down on the perimeter, shoot from downtown, and protect the rim on defense. Really, the only thing he didn’t do much of was dish out dimes (1.3 career assists per game). He was rightfully nicknamed The Unicorn.
But he tore his ACL last year and is still rehabbing. In addition, he was set to be a restricted free agent this summer if he didn’t sign a qualifying offer, which would allow him to be an unrestricted free agent in a year. A player of his talent will likely be offered a max contract. The Knicks obviously weren’t willing to do that. Do they know something about his injury that no one else does? Am I giving the franchise too much credit? Probably, but you never know.
Let me rewind to a few months before Porzingis suffered his knee injury. Phil Jackson, then the general manager of the Knicks, was listening to deals for Porzingis. Or maybe he put him on the block. Whatever the case may be, Porzingis was available. The prevailing headlines during that time were that Jackson was displeased with Porzingis skipping his exit meeting. Ok, he probably was but there seems to be a lot more that went on behind the scenes that led to that point. I wish I had some concrete evidence, but I find it hard to believe that the man who wouldn’t call a timeout during the game to let his players learn and figure it out would get so bent out of shape over one missed exit meeting. It doesn’t add up. Something happened. Jackson may not have been a successful team builder, but he was an excellent coach who knew the game of basketball. If he was willing to trade Porzingis, then maybe he saw or didn’t see something in him. Damn it! Where are those robot fly drones I ordered from Japan?
Which brings me to the next point. The timeline of yesterday’s events. At 1:44 pm EST, Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) reported a meeting between Porzingis and Knicks management. Porzingis “expressed his concern with the losing, franchise direction and an uncertainty that a culture is developing that will enable sustainable organizational success.” That doesn’t sound like a player demanding a trade, but that’s what all the talking heads were spewing. In fact, it sounds justified considering just two days earlier, when Anthony Davis announced that he would like to be traded, that rumors of the Knicks entering the sweepstakes by offering Porzingis surfaced. Hmmmm. Then at 2:54 pm EST, Woj tweeted that “Porzingis left the Knicks with the impression that he prefers to be traded. In less than one hour, he’s traded to the Mavericks.
ARE YOU F’ING SERIOUS???!!!! ARE WE REALLY BUYING THAT SHIT?
League sources said that Porzingis left the Knicks with the impression that he’d like to be traded. That’s some passive-agrressive shit if you ask me. I’ve never heard that before. When a player wants out, he states that he wants out. The whole thing sounds like some operation to frame someone. Anyways, maybe it did go down like that but it sure sounds fishy. What gives it all some validity, though, is that the Mavs and Knicks were able to consummate a trade with 2 future first-round picks and seven players in less than an hour without everything being in place beforehand?
Woo sah. Woo sah.
Alright, the pairing of Doncic with Porzingis could be one for the ages, so there’s really no reason to delve further into that. It’s all about the health of Porzingis.
From a Knicks perspective, though, there’s a modicum of hope. They still hold their first-round pick this season, which could net them Zion Williamson. They also added two future first-round picks, one which is unprotected. In addition, they have now cleaned their books for two max contracts (sayonara THJ and your $18 mil per year contract) this summer for potentially: Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, Kyrie Irving, Jimmy Butler, Klay Thompson, Kemba Walker, DeMarcus Cousins, Tobais Harris….Ok, I’ll stop now. Moving Porzingis would be worth it if they get Zion, KD, and Kyrie right? Granted, a lot would need to happen for that situation to materialize, but at least it’s within the reasonable range of outcomes. Looks to see who’s running the Knicks. Ok, my bad. It’s within the range of outcomes.
This is a fantasy website, so let’s break everything down from that perspective. The obvious winner is Dennis Smith Jr. He will slide right into the point guard responsibilities and should get a shit ton of minutes. Next would be Dwight Powell. I don’t think Porzingis will play this season, so Powell sits atop the depth chart at center. Behind him are Dirk Nowitzki and Salah Mejri. Nowitzki won’t play too many back-to-backs and shouldn’t get more than 20 minutes a game. Mejri, since he’s bigger, could matchup against bigger centers at times, but Powell should soak up most of the minutes. Tim Hardaway Jr.’s shot attempts and usage will likely come down, but playing alongside Doncic, the efficiency should increase as he should get plenty of open looks. Wesley Matthew and DeAndre Jordan will likely get bought out and end up on contenders.
Whew….the NBA is faaaaaaantastic.
Here’s what else I saw last night:
Played a team-high 39 minutes and was the only starter to score more than 9 points. Ha! Alongside him in the starting lineup were Maximillian Kleber, Dorian Finney-Smith, Salah Mejri, and Jalen Brunson, so…..yeah. Barnes was king of the court for one night.
Played 24 minutes off the bench, but Mejri only played 19 minutes. Powell should get most of the center minutes going forward, as Mejri seemed like a matchup-based decision for Andre Drummond, and will provide some boards with a smattering of threeecolas and D stats.
Played 23 minutes. He still lives.
Dre feasted on the Mavs front court. Drum Drum Drummond. Drum Drum Drummond. Dre does everything except drain threeecolas or shoot free throws well, but those rebounds, field goal percentage, and D stats are so damn lovely. If he ever figured out how to make free throws, he’d be a top 20 player.
_lake played a team-high 39 minutes. He and Dre wore matching points last night. Cute. Top 40 player for fantasy.
Over the past four games, Jackson has played 35, 37, 35, and 30 minutes. As a result, he’s been a top 30 player. Minutes equal fantasy gold.
You drafted Young for the D stats, but the increase in shooting percentage has been a nice bonus. For the season, he’s shooting 53% from the field. Last year, that number was at 48%. Currently, Young is a top 75 player on the year, but the range has been from top 30 to top 125.
There was a time when Bojan was leading the league in three-point shooting percentage. He’s fallen off from those heights, but is still 8th, shooting 43% from downtown.
Yes….Yeess…..Yeeessss. Once he gets the offense going, Myles is going to be a top 20 player. Well, well, well. What do you know? He’s top 30 on the season, as he’s averaging close to two more shot attempts than last year.
A nice bounceback game for Collison, after his debacle two nights ago. Since Victor Oladipo went down with an injury, Collison has seen his usage rate spike from 16 to 20. He’s inconsistent, but is a source of threeecolas, dimes, and steals.
Played 20 minutes. He came to Indiana in a package deal with Oladipo. Now that Oladipo is out, Sabonis is no longer delivering the package.
He’s only 23 years old. He’s only 23 years old. He’s only 23 years old. He’s only 23 years old. Thank goodness I only have to do this for three more years.
Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god. It’s happening, isn’t it. Over the past eight games, Isaac has been a top 65 player.
D. J. Augustin
Somehow was a -10 in the plus/minus column.
TFW you walk into Ross and find that article of clothing that actually fits you and would’ve cost you five times at a department store.
Only played 28 minutes due to foul trouble, yet still led the team in scoring. And to victory over the Raptors in Toronto, 105-92.
Seven Bucks scored in double figures with no one scoring over 20. Impressive victory in Toronto.
D. J. Wilson
Played 22 minutes off the bench. Only the second time all season that Wilson has attempted at least 10 shots in a game, and it was the first time receiving over 20 minutes of run in five games. It looks like Wilson has surpassed Ersan Ilyasova on the depth chart and has carved out a little niche for himself, though.
Led the Raptors in scoring and played 38 minutes. The development and improvement for Siakam has been fun to watch. He’s a top 40 player for fantasy and has seen his usage rate increase from 19 to 21 as the season has progressed. Surprisingly, he doesn’t block that many shots (0.6 on the season).
Too cold in Canada. Should’ve come to LA.
My Iblocka is back baby!!! That’s now 11 blocks in the last four games. That rate won’t continue, but it’s nice to see glimpses of the nostalgic past when he was a terror in OKC.
Only played 13 minutes due to an illness.
Not your Average Joe has been….well….average from a fantasy perspective. Over the past seven games, he’s been a top 155 player. He won’t contribute much on D, but Joe will provide an average number of threeecolas, boards, and dimes.
Played a team-high 33 minutes. See, Atkinson. That’s what happens when you give him more than 28 minutes of run a game. Damn, I knew he’s been good but I didn’t realize he’s been #11 over the past seven games good. The usage rate has been 33 and he’s been jacking up over 21 shots per game. With 7 dimes!!!
Played 28 minutes. Boards and blocks are what Allen provide, but unfortunately, Atkinson doesn’t go to Jarrett enough, as he’s averaging around 25 minutes per game. As a result, he’s only providing 1.5 blocks per.
Mr. Ed was a one-trick horse that would lick peanut butter to make it look like he was talking. The Nets Mr. Ed is a two-trick pony who provides boards and blocks.
Played 29 minutes. Napier is going to get the minutes, but what he does with them is another question. The sub-40% shooting from the field is going to make that a question that should get tons of action from both sides.
LMA. I think he’s deserved the right to elevate to a symbol, Prince-style, no?
Led the team in scoring despite only playing 25 minutes. Over the past seven games, Mr. White has been a top 25 player, averaging 15.3 points, 1.1 threeecolas, 4.7 boards, 4.1 dimes, 1.4 steals, and 0.9 blocks on 58% shooting from the field and 80% from the line.
Returned from injury and played 36 minutes.
Played 30 minutes. Usually averages around 23-24 minutes, but Mills provides some points, threeecolas, dimes, and steals. He’s boring like the Spurs, but San Antonio is 11th in points scored at 112.6 per game.
Second 20/20 game of the season. Well, technically, the other one was a 40/20 but whatever. Remember the part in The Fifth Element when Milla Jovovich watches a video that flashes all the clips of humanity? Would it surprise anyone if his “creators” make him watch videos every once in a while? This is how you Twitter. Here are clips of Hakeem Olajuwan. Want to learn how to windmill dunk?
Someone send Simmons some Dave Hopla videos.
And the Sixers won 113-104 over the Warriors in Oakland. Butler is always serving something. Last night it was Ls.
Top 50 player, as the production in the peripheral categories has been robust. The shooting though? Oh boy, the shooting. He’s down over 2 shot attempts per game from last year and the percentage is down from 4%! He’s going to need to figure that out come playoff time or it’s sayonara. How Draymond Got His Groove Back?, coming to theaters this summer.
Wilt was so dominant inside that the league created offensive basket interference because teammates would just throw the ball near the rim and Wilt would gobble it up and slam it home. While no rules have been changed because of Steph, his impact has been almost as great because of his long-range markmanship. He stretches out defenses like a kid playing with slime, forcing defenders to cover the edges, which leaves the middle frail and weak.
Returned from a 16-game absence, played 40 minutes in an OT game, and delivered a 123-120 victory over the Clippers.
It’s been four games since Rondo returned from an injury that sidelined him for 13 games. Prior to last night’s game, Rondo had played 36, 42, and 37 minutes, producing top 70 value. Lonzo Ball isn’t coming back anytime soon. In fact, he may not return at all, so this is Rondo’s show now.
Played 30 minutes. Lance will make you dance…..sometimes. Other times, he will make you want to punch a hole in the wall….that’s if you had any expectations to begin with. The minutes are all over the place, and so is the production, but once in a while, Lance will pop off a game like last night.
The center shituation for the Lakers went down like this. Ivica Zubac got the start but only played 18 minutes. He scored 7 points and grabbed 3 boards. Tyson Chandler played 18 minutes, scored 4 points, grabbed 5 boards, stole one, and blocked two. JaVale McGee played 17 minutes, scored 11 points, grabbed 5 boards, stole one, and blocked two. Good times.