The Dallas Mavericks made injured forward Kristaps Porzingis’ wish come true Thursday by agreeing to acquire the All-Star player from the New York Knicks in a deal involving seven players and two first-round picks.
The Knicks will also send Trey Burke, Courtney Lee and Tim Hardaway Jr. to the Mavericks in return for two future first-round picks, Wesley Matthews, Dennis Smith Jr. and DeAndre Jordan. Porzingis — who will be a restricted free agent after this season — has yet to make a decision on his future with Dallas, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported.
ESPN adds that the first-round picks will be an unprotected selection in 2021 and a top-10 protected choice in 2023. As part of the trade during the 2018 draft to acquire Luka Doncic, Dallas owes it protected 2019 first-rounder to the Atlanta Hawks.
According to an earlier ESPN report, Porzingis met with Knicks management Thursday and gave the team the impression he preferred to be traded. The Knicks’ record this season is an NBA-worst 10-40, and they have lost 11 in a row, 19 of 20 and 24 of 26.
—The New Orleans Pelicans and Los Angeles Lakers discussed All-Star forward Anthony Davis on the phone, after the Pelicans had previously not returned the Lakers’ calls, ESPN reported.
Prior to Thursday, New Orleans general manager Dell Demps had been returning calls to other teams, just not Lakers GM Rob Pelinka, according to the report. ESPN also intimated the Pelicans won’t gift-wrap Davis’ path to Los Angeles, which most around the league believe is the 26-year-old forward’s only preferred destination.
According to the ESPN report, the Lakers are willing to part with a combination of picks and players, including Kyle Kuzma, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart and Lonzo Ball to acquire Davis and pair him up with LeBron James. The trade deadline is Feb. 7.
—Speaking of James, the Lakers star returned to the court against the Los Angeles Clippers after missing 17 games due to a groin injury he sustained on Christmas Day.
The Lakers went 6-11 without James, a four-time NBA Most Valuable Player who entered the night averaging 27.3 points, 8.3 rebounds and 7.1 assists in 34 games in his first season with the team.
While James will be closely watched for signs effects of the injury, Lakers coach Luke Walton said James would not have any minutes restrictions. James was in the starting lineup.
—The Washington Wizards are 22-29 and 2 1/2 games outside of a playoff spot and have lost point guard John Wall for the season with an injury. But owner Ted Leonsis doesn’t want to hear the word “tanking.”
Leonsis said in a radio interview that a fan asked him whether the team was raising the white flag for the season and looking to rebuild. “I was asked point blank, ‘Are you going to tank?’” he recalled. “That’s an offensive question. You can’t go to your organization, to your players, to your coach and say, ‘Let’s plan to lose.’”
Instead, Leonsis told WTOP radio that he still expects the team to meet goals he had set before the season began. “My expectations are that we are going to make the playoffs and improve on last year,” he said.
—Field Level Media