The Dallas Mavericks got their man in Kristaps Porzingis, but despondent New York Knicks fans who feel that the team gave away their star player for a song should know that the Mavs didn't have it easy. The team reportedly approached New York “about a hundred times” about the deal before Kristaps was shipped down south.
According to anonymous sources who spoke to the New York Times, the Knicks shopped around for most of January to find the right deal for Porzingis. Sources close to the matter said that they considered trading Porzingis for the Sacremento Kings' De'Aaron Fox.
They ultimately settled on a deal that netted them Dennis Smith Jr., two future-first round picks and helped free them from the expensive contracts of Tim Hardaway Jr. and Courtney Lee.
The deal was able to move quickly because Dallas had expressed interest in Porzingis for years and the Knicks let it be known that they wanted Smith from jump this season.
The story says that Jan. 28 was the first time the Knicks admitted they were open to trading their star player. Two days later, the Mavs were in New York. While no one says so on the record, the reporting leans toward saying the Knicks and Mavs GMs hammered out the deal in an office inside Madison Square Garden that night.
After the trade, it was revealed that Porzingis' brother/agent Janis wanted a larger role within the Knicks oganization, including positions on the payroll for members of Kristaps' entourage.
The New York Post reports that Janis soured on the Knicks when they declined and eventually turned Kristaps against the team as well.
“Janis wanted the kingdom,’’ an anonymous source told The Post.
“He’s the big brother and wants to protect him and I’m sure over the years his ego and confidence in handling Kristaps has grown,’’ another source added. “It could also be the Knicks’ fault. You have to set boundaries … but they allowed him everywhere and that created Janis knowing and seeing everything."