The entire league was surprised when Latvian center Kristaps Porzingis demanded a trade from the New York Knicks before the February NBA trade deadline. With Porzingis no longer wanting to be part of their long-term plan, the Knicks decided to engage in a blockbuster deal with the Dallas Mavericks. The Knicks sent Porzingis, together with Courtney Lee, and Tim Hardaway Jr., to the Mavericks in exchange for Dennis Smith Jr., DeAndre Jordan, Wesley Matthews, and two future first-round picks.
Most Knicks' fans understood why the team needed to make the deal, but some of them believe that they could get a better trade package for Kristaps Porzingis. In his recent article, Marc Stein of the New York Times answered a fan question regarding why the Knicks didn't explore trading Porzingis to the Sacramento Kings for Marvin Bagley III or to the Los Angeles Clippers for Shea Gilgeous-Alexander.
Stein revealed that the Knicks didn't get the opportunity to talk with the Clippers, but they had a trade negotiation with the Kings. Unfortunately, the Kings didn't seem to be interested in parting ways with their young core.
"I'm told that the Knicks, for starters, tried to engage Sacramento on the Bagley trade concept you suggest. But much like their attempts to engage the Kings in De'Aaron Fox discussions, those inquiries were flatly rejected," Stein said. "As for the Clippers … no chance. Not only are they super high on the rookie guard known as S.G.A., but there's no way L.A. would ever consider taking on the contracts of Tim Hardaway Jr. and Courtney Lee like Dallas did. The Clippers have been hoarding their salary-cap space for this summer's long-planned pursuit of Kawhi Leonard."Kristaps Porzingis would have been an intriguing addition to the Kings, who are currently in the middle of the rebuilding process. If he manages to regain his All-Star form, Porzingis could become the new face of the Kings' franchise. Since entering the league in 2015, Porzingis has shown lots of superstar potentials. Before he suffered an injury, Porzingis was averaging 22.7 points, 6.6 rebounds, and 2.4 blocks on 43.9 percent shooting from the field and 39.5 percent shooting from beyond the arc.
The deal is a no-brainer for the Kings if it would be a straight swap for Marvin Bagley III or De'Aaron Fox, but in their rumored trade discussion, there is a strong possibility that the Knicks also asked Sacramento to absorb the contracts of Tim Hardaway Jr. and Courtney Lee and include future first-round picks in the trade package. Also, Porzingis' current injury could be one of the major reasons why the Kings refused to make a deal with the Knicks before the February NBA trade deadline.