In his first season as Knicks head coach, David Fizdale spoke glowingly of a future in which he would coach the team’s now-former star Kristaps Porzingis. After Thursday’s trade that sent the Latvian to the Mavericks, Fizdale will not get that opportunity.
Speaking to reporters, including Marc Berman of the New York Post, about the organization’s decision to trade Porzingis, Fizdale praised their personal relationship but was on board with management’s decision.
“This is what the situation called for,’’ Fizdale said. “I never got to coach him. I was excited to coach him. We had a really good relationship, but he had to make a decision and he felt that it was best that he get a fresh start. You never want to see a player go. But where we are I’m excited about our future.
“I wouldn’t say [things were] not right. I never felt that. But like Scott [Perry] and Steve [Mills] said [Thursday] night, we felt like over a short amount of time we started to feel some distance and some indicators that we felt like we had to clear up some things to get clarity and that’s why they met.”
In dealing Porzingis, the Knicks acquired an asset in Dennis Smith Jr., two future first-round picks and cap space that could net them two max free agents this summer.
Check out more notes surrounding the Knicks:
- With Smith in New York, The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor looked back at the 2017 NBA Draft in which the point guard was drafted. Some members of the Knicks’ front office were said to be infatuated with Smith, but New York ultimately drafted teenage Frenchman Frank Ntilikina one spot earlier. However, now the organization has both players and can look to see if Smith’s upside supersedes Ntilikina’s — which was the consensus in 2017.
- In addition to Smith, draft picks and cap space, the Knicks acquired the expiring contracts of DeAndre Jordan and Wesley Matthews. New York has heard from at least one team interested in trading for Matthews, ESPN’s Ian Begley tweets. However, if no trade is found, both Matthews and Jordan — impending free agents — are buyout candidates.
- The widespread coverage of the Porzingis trade has yielded varying opinions on the Knicks’ future. Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated writes that the deal comes with a huge risk but a potentially huge reward if the team can land two elite free agents. Michael Powell of the New York Times opines that Thursday’s trade was the latest sign of organizational incompetence.
24 thoughts on “Knicks Notes: Fizdale, Porzingis, DSJ, Matthews, Free Agency”
Those 1st round picks won’t be very valuable. I fully expect the Mavs to be a top 10 team next year.
Mmm top 10 is a stretch. Top 15 maybe. Porzingis is coming back from an ACL tear here so I still think those picks can hold value. Especially if they land those free agents, they can include those picks in trades. I think the trade was actually good but they have a reputation of making plenty of errors. Good coaching is needed to get they to DMJ but he could be a good guard if he can fix some rookie mistakes at a good pace. I think he’s gone prove more valuable than Frank N has been so far.
The pick in 2021 might be in that late lottery or worse but that unprotected 2023 pick…of course injuries are unpredictable but if healthy and they keep The Don and the Unicorn happy, I wouldn’t be surprised at all if the Mavs are a top 10 team.
The one good thing about the Knicks management in the last year was their draft and amatuer scouting. Of course who knows if the current regime will be around when those 1st round picks are made.
I get the logic behind it, but it still kind of blows my mind how teams value a CHANCE (and not great odds) at signing a max free agent more than they value actual good players they already have. I mean they sucked really bad either way, but moves like this can be crushing for fans.
From everything I have read they didn’t really have a choice. Porzingis wanted out and was willing to sign a qualifying offer to make that happen.
By all appearances, KP loved NYC. Some of the blame on the souring of the relationship has to fall on management.
management changed, though… he has barely been around for the current regime
In certain markets I can understand clearing cap space for free agents, but most teams and markets shouldn’t and can’t use this strategy. Milwaukee, Portland, Minnesota, Cleveland, etc… can have as much cap space as they want and max free agents aren’t signing there except for special Lebron-like circumstances.
New York, Boston, LA, Miami, etc… have the capability to sign marquee guys more than others.
Players acting as GMs are ruining the NBA. 98% of teams will be terrible, and you’ll see the same three teams in the Finals every year.
The GMs of Cleveland and NO have blown their chances, so LeBron leaving both times and AD asking out are on them. Players should get to control where they work and their chances of success at least a little man!
I don’t think it’s good that teams have to do everything possible to placate their one star. New Orleans did everything right and still got screwed
New Orleans only made two draft picks in the last six years, they’ve made countless mistakes
The “three teams in the Finals”, they going to play a round robin or some version of knockout??…lol.
I don’t recall any other team trading any real good young player for just a chance at signing a max FAs. Teams on the cusp of a signing have made some lopsided deals to allow them to move forward. Nothing like this.
I also get the feeling that the “chance at 2 max FA” thing is a way of justifying the deal to the fans. Those words are in every description of what the Knicks got back, to mask the fact that they really just got back one remote unprotected 1st. DSJ and the potential of another 1st are minor assets in terms of current value. This trade was less about trading away bad contracts than trading away an embarrassing situation for the FO and HC. They screwed the pooch in this relationship, and compounded it by not realizing that they did. HC still praising his relationship with the player (yeah, it was really good).
If we learn that Mills/Perry got a promise from Irving to sign with the Knicks if they got AD or KD, would you do the KP trade?– not knowing if KI would keep his promise or not, and not knowing if KD was on board or even interested.
In this scenario, to make that possible, KP has to go, in such a way to make either an AD trade or a KD signing possible. Indeed after trading for AD, signing both KI & KD would still be possible… would that make the risk worth taking? With or without a KI promise?
I agree the KP trade, on its surface, without these possibilities, is not good. With those possibilities, it is still a risk. With some nod from KI, I would bite, then spend 4 months worrying.
I have zero confidence that Porzingus was gonna be able to stay healthy. History shows us that guys that tall can’t consistently run the floor like he does and stay healthy. I like him but I’m glad they cashed in while they could. I know they players they got don’t equal his value but they cap space is huge. And honestly, as a Knicks fan, I will happily roll the dice on free agency because we were going nowhere with him. Now Durant, or whoever, can recruit another star to come with him.
“Or whoever” (Tobias Harris) lol
Yes, it is a gamble. May blow up but I would take the risk too. Unfortunately I think Porzingus will have an injury plagued career.
I’d take the risk too. I REALLY don’t think KD is going to NY, but anything can happen as we’ve seen time and time again
Random , but I can see frank ntilikina getting traded to the magic.
So the Mavs took no risk here in acquiring a 7 footer coming off a major knee injury? We’re just supposed to ignore the fact that the guy hasn’t played for a year and wont return for another 8 months at the earliest? And we’re supposed to brush this all aside while never acknowledging that the 2010-11 Mavs are the only team in NBA history to win an NBA title with a stretch 4 as a 1st or 2nd option?
If so, then I suppose the Knicks got fleeced here….
This was the best move the knicks have made in a long time,KP didn’t want to buy into building these young kids and asked to get out. so picking up two # 1s and smith and more cap space is the way to go..lets hope now that management don’t trade away the 1st rounders they got and build this team back up to a 50 win team..Go Knicks!