Moses Kinnah/iStock(NEW YORK) — The New York Knicks and Dallas Mavericks are close to a trade that would send Kristaps Porzingis to Dallas and set up the Knicks for a major run at two star free agents this offseason.
ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski says the Knicks would also send Tim Hardaway Jr. and Courtney Lee to Dallas, freeing up salary cap room for this offseason. The Mavericks would send back Dennis Smith Jr., DeAndre Jordan and Wesley Matthews.
Dallas is working to acquire a first-round draft pick to include in the trade. They owe their own first-rounder to the Atlanta Hawks as part of the draft-night trade to acquire Luka Doncic.
Sources told ESPN earlier on Thursday that Porzingis met with Knicks management to discuss concerns about the state of the franchise and his future. ESPN says Knicks officials were left with the impression that the 23-year-old would prefer to be traded.
Porzingis tore his ACL last January and hasn't played since. The fourth overall draft pick in 2015, Porzingis was averaging a career-high 22.7 points per game before the knee injury.
The 10-40 Knicks are angling for one of the top picks in this summer's draft. They decided against signing Porzingis to a rookie extension before this season, resulting in more salary cap room. That move, however, gave Porzingis the chance to be a restricted free agent this offseason.
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