New York's trade of Porzingis can have enormous implications for Celtics and the NBA
The New York Knicks just pulled off a bold, Danny Ainge-like move by trading away their biggest star while prepping for the summer's free agency and NBA draft. They are now in full-tank mode, hoping to score big in the Zion Williamson sweepstakes. But on a bigger scale, they are prepared to lure this summer's crop of star free agents - or frankly any stars currently unhappy with their present situation (read: Anthony Davis).
With six days to go to the Trade Deadline, the drama is heating up. Make no mistake - New York's ballsy deal could backfire big-time. They are betting that most NBA stars would love to come to the Big-League New York market - and just maybe the NBA would love to see some major players in the Big Apple. Will there be tampering? You bet! Will the League take note of it and seek action? No bets on that one.
The team has acquired guard Dennis Smith Jr., center DeAndre Jordan, guard/forward Wesley Matthews and two future first round draft picks from Dallas in exchange for forward Kristaps Porzingis, and guards Tim Hardaway Jr., Trey Burke and Courtney Lee.
The Knicks currently have a 10-40 record with an 11-game losing streak, and are going nowhere this season. Kristaps Porzingis was out for the season with an ACL injury and had expressed dismay at the Knicks lack of a winning attitude.
The Knicks just gave away their most exciting player in 20 years so they could erase their free agency mistakes..so that they have two max slots instead of one when it's unclear if any true max players want to come within 200 miles of them
Where does Kyrie Irving come into all of this. He has close ties to the New York area and to Anthony Davis. Kevin McHale has called his friend, Danny Ainge, "one cold-blooded character" when it comes to trading away players, but that may not be so bad with the current crop of superstars that openly voice their wish to go elsewhere.
We may be about to see a tug-of-war. This is the way I see it. The Celtics may not be the Big-League market that New York boasts, but the Boston organization is solid from top-to-bottom. Not so the Big Apple crew. If Kristaps felt the Knicks had no passion for winning, let me state that Ainge does big-time. My guess is that he would have a fit losing a game of Monopoly.
The 2019 free agent class is high-level. Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, Kyrie Irving and Jimmy Butler all have player options this summer. Klay Thompson will be an unrestricted free agent. Here's the tug-of-war. If we get past February 7th without any action on Davis, the Knicks may try to land two of the six players just mentioned. Friends Irving and Davis could end up together in either Boston or New York. Kyrie has at times verbally committed to Boston, but as with Danny, verbalizations are not always what they appear to be.
So stay with us. We at CelticsLife are committed to watch the drama closely, particularly over the next six days - but also into the summer. If Ainge pulls off a trade for AD, be prepared for some pain in the process. Just be glad we don't have to make those hard decisions - who goes - who stays. There is a bit of drama tonight when the Celtics head to Madison Square Garden to face the Knicks and some new faces. Oh, and some other drama. Will the Knicks buy out their newly acquired center, DeAndre Jordan? They say "No", but as always, I am skeptical. They want no reversal on tank-mode.
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