This was not the first sign of cracks in the relationship between Porzingis and the Knicks.
That money will be owed to recent first-rounders including Dennis Smith Jr. The Knicks and Mavericks have now finalized the trade.
The 7-foot-3 Porzingis has been on the rehab trail since tearing an ACL in February 2018. With Durant, Kawhi Leonard, Klay Thompson, DeMarcus Cousins, Kyrie Irving and Jimmy Butler potentially in play this summer, the Knicks have wanted to clear out enough space to go big-game hunting. If Porzingis comes back at 100 percent - even if it's next season - they could be a team to keep an eye on in the vaunted Western Conference for years to come.
The Mavericks took Smith Jr. with the No. 9 overall pick of the 2017 NBA Draft. As our brains were still running through this new reality, Marc Stein of The New York Times reported that a deal was in place to send Porzingis to Dallas.
Porzingis is set to become a restricted free agent this July.
- Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 31, 2019The Brooklyn Nets, Los Angeles Clippers, Miami Heat, San Antonio Spurs and Toronto Raptors are among many teams expected to pursue Kristaps Porzingis in a trade, league sources tell ESPN. Already, there's conflicting information on his intentions in Dallas: The Athletic's Shams Charania reported that Porzingis plans to sign the one-year qualifying offer this summer, making him an unrestricted free agent after the 2019-20 season. That's a lot of money to commit to someone with Porzingis' injury, potentially without seeing him play beforehand.
Imagining two hypothetical max players in those slots, let's call them Kevin Dirving and Dyrie Kurant, along with Kevin Knox and Dennis Smith Jr. moves the Knicks a lot further along than where they are right now.
However, Mills and Perry saw otherwise, noticing how often Porzingis was in the gym and how long he stayed when he did come.