One year ago today, the Knicks stunned the NBA world by trading All-Star Kristaps Porzingis to the Dallas Mavericks.
In the deal, the Knicks sent Porzingis, Tim Hardaway Jr., Courtney Lee, and Trey Burke to the Mavericks, and acquired Dennis Smith Jr., DeAndre Jordan, Wes Matthews and two future first round picks.
In many ways, the jury is still out on which team "won" this deal, but it's worth looking at where things stand with the players involved on the one-year anniversary, as well as the Knicks' outlook moving forward.
Here's at how the main players involved in the Porzingis trade have performed ...
Porzingis has played well since returning to action for the Mavericks, but his health issues will always be a concern. In 36 games this season, Porzingis is averaging 16.8 points, 8.9 rebounds, and 2.0 blocks. He's shooting just 39.7 percent overall, and 34.1 percent from the floor.
Porzingis asked for a trade but, as SNY has reported, he was committed to remaining a Knick in the weeks leading up to trade request. So it's fair to wonder if the Knicks' front office could have done anything to change his mind. Some with Knicks wondered if Porzingis was good enough to be a franchise player.
Dennis Smith Jr.
Smith Jr. has struggled during his career in New York. Overall, the guard has played 45 games as a Knick, and he's averaged just 9.6 points per game, down from the 14.5 points he averaged has a Maverick. This season, Smith Jr. has struggled to even play consistent minutes, playing just 15 minutes again while missing time due to injuries as well.
Tim Hardaway Jr.
Since joining the Mavericks, Hardaway Jr. has put up the best numbers of his career, averaging 14.5 points per game while shooting a career-best 39.5 percent from three-point range. With Smith Jr.'s struggles in New York, Hardaway has become the second ebst player involved in the trade.
Cap space and future picks
The Knicks opened up cap space with the Porzingis deal, but when it came down to using that space on the free agent class of 2019, well, things didn't go as planned. The Knicks swung and missed on big players like Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, both who signed with the cross-town rival Nets instead, as well as Kawhi Leonard and Kemba Walker. Instead, the Knicks ended up pivoting their offseason plan to sign a host of veterans to short-term contracts, and while some of those players have put up strong numbers, the overall product on the court has not been a good one.
Four of the Knicks' top five leading scorers this season are vets signed this past summer. Marcus Morris leads the team with 19.2 points per game, while Julius Randle is not far behind him at 19.0 points per game. But as a team, the Knicks are just 13-36 and have severely under-performed.
There is a silver lining to the Knicks' free agent signings of this past summer, though, as the team now has the flexibility to move those players in trades at the deadline, or just move on from them following their short-term contracts coming to an end. The Knicks haven't signed any players to bad, long-term contracts since Steve Mills and Scott Perry started working together.
The Knicks have significant cap flexibility moving forward and they have all of their own first-round picks and two extra first rounders from Dallas. Those assets, of course, are great tools for a rebuild or to trade for a disgruntled star.
So while the Mavericks may currently have the two best players involved in the deal on their roster, time will tell what the Knicks are able to due with their cap flexibility and the two Dallas picks in the future.