Yesterday was a day that lots of Knicks fans will remember. It will either be remembered for positive or negative reasons. What happened was that the Knicks traded their promising star Kristaps Porizingis to the Dallas Mavericks along with Tim Hardway Jr., Courtney Lee, and Trey Burke. The Knicks in return, got DeAndre Jordan, Dennis Smith Jr., and Wesley Matthews.
To a good amount of Knicks fans, it was a devastating blow for them to see Porzingis who was an all star last season, averaging 22 points before tearing his A.C.L. on February 6. He then expressed displeasure about the direction that the team was heading this year, with a 10-40 record, despite a bright long term future. The future free agent was traded shortly afterward. He thanked the city of New York on his Twitter and Instagram account.
However, there is now a bright spot. With the trade, the Knicks know have over 70 million in cap space. Good enough to land 2 max contract superstars in free agency. This year's free agency features star players Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, Kyrie Irving, Jimmy Butler, Kemba Walker, and much more players. They also have a shot at getting who some consider to be the next LeBron James: small forward Zion Williamson out of Duke. They have already had a successful draft class in promising forward Kevin Knox, a pogo-stick center in Mitchell Robinson, and scoring guard Alonzo Trier who was undrafted. The factor that also makes another successful draft class possible, is the fact that there is lots of trust in the Knicks management.
As for free agency, they've been rumored to be Kyrie Irving's next team since he asked to be traded in 2017 when he was on the Cleveland Cavaliers, but he eventually got shipped to Boston. The rumors started to swirl up again when reports stated that he wasn't happy on the Celtics. Despite publicly saying that he will resign with the Celtics this preseason, last month was a whirlwind that only focused by Irving wanting out. Before the season, the Knicks had a 47% chance compared to the 44% that Boston had. After his comments, it now seems more likely than ever unless something else happens.
Durant's rumors started before this NBA season, as rumors said that he was unhappy in Golden State. His brother, Tony Durant, commented on his Instagram post after opening day, "yessir brother!!!! Filling the hand up before we get outta here." He was referring to Golden State. Durant's body language has also seemed to indicate that he wants out. In some games, he played very well but didn't win, such as in Toronto where he put up 51 points, but was outwitted by Leonard in a loss. He has also constantly declined to talk about free agency. New York has also been the favorites to land him.
So for Knicks fans, 2018-19 may have been a lost season regarding their record, but they've already seen growth from most of their young players. Thanks to their entire draft class last year which has stirred up positivity, they are likely to have another successful all around draft class, They will be able to use their cap space to get from one to two marquee free agents. So with that, Knicks fans who have seen them miss the playoffs 14 times since 2001, this off season should and probably will change all of that.