The Unicorn is on the move from the Dallas Mavericks. On Thursday, the Mavs agreed to trade big man Kristaps ‘Unicorn’ Porzingis and a future second-round draft pick to the Washington Wizards in exchange for Spencer Dinwiddie and Davis Bertans.
The Washington Wizards (24-29) currently occupy the #11 seed in the Eastern Conference standings, but they do not have postseason aspirations. The Wizards are in the middle of a huge shakeup with multiple transactions shortly before the trade deadline, including Porzingis.
|NBA TRADE: WIZARDS & MAVERICKS
|2nd Round Draft Pick
The Dallas Mavs (32-23) hold down the #5 seed in the top-heavy Western Conference. The Phoenix Suns and Golden Sate Warriors are running distanced themselves from the #3-seed Memphis Grizzlies and the chase pack in the Western Conference. The Mavs are stuck in the middle with the Utah Jazz and Denver Nuggets and jockeying for the #4 seed to secure home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs.
The Mavs are +4000 odds to win the 2022 NBA championship. The Grizzlies are the betting favorite to win the Southwest Division at -700 odds, and the Mavs are +425 odds to overcome a 5.5-game deficit.
Luka Said ‘No’
During OG’s NBA Midseason Awards, we pegged the Unicorn as the MOP or Most Overrated Player in the league. Apparently, All-Star Luke Doncic and the Mavs agreed when the worked out a deal to trade Porzingis to the Wizards.
Legendary Knicks guard and current announcer Clyde Frazier once described the Porzingis as “paper mache” because of the Unicorn’s propensity for injuries.
In three seasons with the Mavs, Porzingis only played 134 games. He averaged 20 points and 8.8 rebounds per game when he was healthy, but he was plagued with injuries to both of his knees.
For the last 12 months, Porzingis was mentioned in trade rumors. There were not-so-quiet whispers that Doncic and Porzingis did not gel on the court, so it was only a matter of time before the Mavs parted ways with the Unicorn.
Numerous Mavs fans joked that they figured out why Porzingis is dubbed the Unicorn, because no one ever sees him. Heck, he hasn’t played in a couple of weeks and missed the last five games with a bone bruise.
The Wizards are now on the hook for his hefty contract, which was worth $158 million over five years. He’s due $33.8 million next season and $36 million in 2023-24 before he becomes a free agent.
The Mavs acquired the versatile Dinwiddie in the trade with the Wizards. The point guard once averaged a career-high 20.6 ppg with the Brooklyn Nets in 2019-20. He struggled to find his place with the Wizards and only averaged 12.6 ppg this season.
The Mavs also added Bertans, who is a great 3-point shooter for a big man. A couple seasons ago he averaged 15.4 points off the bench for the Wizards and shot 42.5% from 3-point range. He struggled with the Wizards this season and averaged only 5.7 ppg off the bench, but the Mavs could use his sniping skills.
Last Laugh for the Knicks
The New York Knicks were not active at the trade deadline, but they secured a huge victory regarding Porzingis. It took three years to shake out, but the Knicks won the Unicorn trade, and the Mavs were big losers when he ended up a bust.
The Knicks initially drafted Porzingis, but his relationship with the team deteriorated while he rehabbed a knee injury. At the time, Porzingis’ gripes with the team seemed petty, but it’s totally understandable why he wanted out of James Dolan’s sh-tshow at Madison Square Garden.
In 2019, the Knicks worked out a seven-player trade to accommodate the Unicorn’s wishes. They shipped Porzingis to the Mavs along with Trey Burke, Courtney Lee, and Tim Hardaway, Jr. In return, the Mavs traded Dennis Smith, DeAndre Jordan, Wes Matthews, and a pair of first-round picks to the Knicks.
None of those three ex-Mavs are on the Knicks roster, but they traded Smith and a second rounder to the Chicago Bulls to acquire Derrick Rose, which was a steal. The Knicks used one of the Mavs’ first-round picks in the 2021 NBA Draft to select Quentin Grimes out of Houston, who showed promise as a member of the Knicks’ second unit. The Knicks still have another first-round pick from the Mavs pending in the 2023 NBA Draft.
Meanwhile, the Knicks sent four players to Dallas that never panned out. Courtney Lee is out of the league, Burke warms the bench in Dallas and averaged 6.1 ppg the last two seasons, Hardaway is currently sidelined with a broken foot, and the Mavs moved on from the Unicorn.
The Final Bell has rung.
The Knicks won the Kristaps Porzingis trade.
— Knicks Memes (@KnicksMemes) February 10, 2022