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Kristaps Porzingis tells Knicks fans to 'stay woke'

Three days after he was traded from the New York Knicks to the Dallas Mavericks, All-Star big man Kristaps Porzingis suggested in an Instagram post that his ex-team's fans should "stay woke."

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  • Knicks prez: Porzingis didn't want to be here

    Team president Steve Mills said the Knicks feel like they did the right thing by trading former first-rounder Kristaps Porzingis. "You don't want to commit a max [contract] to a player who clearly says to you he doesn't want to be here," Mills said.

"The city deserves better than that.... My suggestion for Knicks fans is to STAY WOKE!! Peace," Porzingis wrote on his verified account early Sunday morning.

Knicks president Steve Mills said that Porzingis, a restricted free agent this summer, informed him that he "no longer wanted to be a part of our group" during a Thursday morning meeting. The meeting lasted less than five minutes, league sources told ESPN.

Hours later, New York traded Porzingis to the Mavericks in a deal that brought back two future first-round picks, Dennis Smith Jr. and two veterans on expiring contracts in Wesley Matthews and DeAndre Jordan.

There has been a strong disconnect between Porzingis and Knicks management in recent years, and it culminated in Thursday's meeting. Porzingis expressed concerns on the state of the franchise and his future with the organization in the meeting, sources told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

Knicks GM Scott Perry said the Knicks were aware of Porzingis' displeasure with the direction of the franchise in recent weeks.

Mills cited Porzingis' time spent at the team facility -- which had decreased recently -- as one sign of his disconnect from the franchise.

"When you try to think about how you want to build your team for the long term, you don't want to commit a max [contract] to a player who clearly says to you he doesn't want to be here," Mills said Thursday. "That would be a disservice for our organization and disservice to our fans."

Mills noted that both parties seemed to be on the same page at the beginning of the season after New York elected not to extend Porzingis' rookie contract, before Porzingis began showing signs of a disconnect.

New York began to speak to teams about different trade scenarios involving Porzingis in the days leading up to Thursday.

"When the meeting occurred this morning, we'd already been having many conversations with a number of teams," Perry said Thursday. "So we decided to act upon one."

In doing its due diligence, New York contacted the New Orleans Pelicans about an Anthony Davis trade in recent days. There was uncertainty about Porzingis' desire to play with the Pelicans long term, sources said.

At the time of their trade of Porzingis, the Knicks had several offers for the 23-year-old big man, league sources told ESPN.

But multiple teams interested in making an offer for Porzingis said that they were unable to do so before New York traded Porzingis to Dallas, league sources said.

The Knicks were looking for salary-cap relief and young players or future first-round picks in a trade. So while the Knicks could have fielded more offers for Porzingis -- possibly increasing their return in the process -- the transaction with Dallas seemingly accomplished their objectives.

By clearing their books of the money owed to Tim Hardaway Jr. and Courtney Lee -- who were both moved to Dallas in the Porzingis trade -- ESPN's Bobby Marks projects the Knicks to have a league-high $71 million in salary-cap space this summer. That's enough cap space to attempt to sign two maximum-salary free agents.

New York will target the top players on the market, who are expected to include Kevin DurantKawhi LeonardKyrie Irving and Kemba Walker.

Some close to Durant see New York as a possible landing spot for the back-to-back NBA Finals MVP if he chooses to leave the Golden State Warriors, according to league sources.

In addition to Smith, the Knicks will get the Mavericks' unprotected first-round pick two years after they send one to the Atlanta Hawks to complete their draft-day deal for Luka Doncic and another protected first-round pick two years after that, sources said.

Those picks could come as soon as 2021 and 2023 if Dallas does not move into the top five this year.

The Mavs deemed Porzingis' potential to be worth the price, considering him a franchise-caliber player whose game complements 19-year-old rookie star Doncic.

Dallas is hoping to re-sign the 7-foot-3 Porzingis to a long-term deal this summer, and it is confident that Doncic and veteran Dirk Nowitzki -- a player Porzingis grew up idolizing -- can play significant roles in making that happen, a source told ESPN's Tim MacMahon.

Porzingis, the No. 4 overall pick in the 2015 NBA draft, was averaging a career-best 22.7 points per game before he suffered a torn ACL in his left knee during a breakout All-Star season in 2017-18. He also was averaging 6.6 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game.

Porzingis will probably not play for the Mavericks this season as he continues to recover from the injury, owner Mark Cuban told ESPN's Tim MacMahon.

Porzingis was evaluated in January by the Knicks' medical staff, which confirmed his knee is healing well. He recently worked out with a coach on the court for roughly 45 minutes, during which he was shooting pull-up 3-pointers and dunking.

Porzingis will have an introductory news conference in Dallas on Monday.

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Anthony Davis Trade Rumors: Lakers 'Don't Have the Assets' to Complete Deal


The Los Angeles Lakers are going to do everything in their power to land New Orleans Pelicans superstar Anthony Davis either this season or over the summer. But it's growing increasingly clear that the Lakers may not have the pieces to entice the Pelicans.

ESPN's Brian Windhorst spoke about that fact on the The Sedano Show

"For Davis, a top-five arguable player who is going to be desired in many different markets, the Lakers just don't have the assets. ... It's just not enough for the Pelicans. They just don't like what the Lakers have to offer. And that is not lost on Davis. That is why it's pretty clear his camp is waging a battle to make Boston not even bid so the Lakers have a chance. Because it's as clear as day that Boston can outbid the Lakers. They just don't have the assets."

Windhorst pointed out that it wasn't necessarily an indictment on L.A.'s young players, like Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram and Kyle Kuzma, and that a package of those players would be enough to land many players around the NBA. But for a game-changer like Davis, the Lakers' packages remaining unappealing to New Orleans.

The Pelicans can also take their time, since Davis is under contract through next season, leaving them with all of the leverage for the time being.

"The Pelicans have no motivation to hurry; this season is lost anyway. They have no motivation to necessarily trade around the draft if they can't get the player they want. ... Talking to sources in New Orleans, they don't feel any pressure to move quickly."

The Lakers and Celtics have been the two teams most widely linked to a trade for Davis, and it isn't hard to imagine the New York Knicks making an offer this summer, especially if they land the top overall pick. They could dangle the pick and Kevin Knox in a package for Anthony and then use their two max slots to bring in superstars to play alongside him.

The Philadelphia 76ers are also a team that can't be ignored, if only because a young star like Ben Simmons would almost assuredly be attractive to New Orleans, though it's hard to imagine the Sixers dealing their 22-year-old All-Star. 

But Windhorst noted that two other "mystery teams" could jump into the fray: The Toronto Raptors and Denver Nuggets. The Raptors could build a deal around talented young players like Pascal Siakam and OG Anunoby and gun for a title this season with Kawhi Leonard and Davis. Obviously they would be risking everything in that trade, as Leonard could leave in free agency this summer and Davis could follow suit next year.

But Leonard and Davis could also enjoy playing together in Toronto and choose to stay long term.

Denver, meanwhile, could build a package around players like rookie Michael Porter Jr., Jamal Murray or Gary Harris potentially, as Windhorst noted, pairing Davis with offensive superstar Nikola Jokic. 

Windhorst noted that he hadn't heard that either team had called the Pelicans with an offer, but he said he'd be very surprised if they didn't at least inquire. 

When you add it all up, at least five teams—the Celtics, Knicks, Sixers, Raptors and Nuggets—could offer better deals than the Lakers. The Lakers may be pushing all of their chips into the center of the table when it comes to Davis, but they are doing so without the best hand.


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