Jonathan Bachman/Associated Press
The New York Knicks reportedly explored including Kristaps Porzingis in a trade for New Orleans Pelicans big man Anthony Davis, but the Western Conference team was not interested in that move.
A source told ESPN.com’s Ramona Shelburne (h/t colleague Tim MacMahon) that New Orleans was not sure if he would remain with the team long-term, seeing how Porzingis can become a restricted free agent after this season.
Instead, the Knicks announced Thursday they traded Porzingis, Tim Hardaway Jr., Trey Burke and Courtney Lee to Dallas for DeAndre Jordan, Wesley Matthews, Dennis Smith Jr. and two future first-round draft picks.
This comes after Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.com reported that Davis’ agent, Rich Paul, informed the Pelicans his client does not want to sign long-term with the team and preferred to be traded. Davis can become a free agent following the 2019-20 season and has a player option for 2020-21.
Davis was also fined $50,000 for his representative making a public trade demand while he was still under contract.
Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reported the Knicks were among the teams preparing to make New Orleans an offer in the aftermath of that news, and he pointed to Porzingis, Kevin Knox and the potential No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 draft as possible trade chips. However, the Pelicans clearly didn’t value Porzingis enough to pull the trigger on any deal.
MacMahon noted Dallas hopes to re-sign the 23-year-old, who averaged 22.7 points, 6.6 rebounds and 2.4 blocks a night while shooting 39.5 percent from three-point range in 48 games in 2017-18 prior to tearing his ACL.
The Mavericks hope Luka Doncic and Dirk Nowitzki can help them in that regard.
As for the Knicks, they will turn toward free agency and the upcoming draft as they attempt to build a contender after moving on from Porzingis and the contracts of Hardaway and Lee.