Could the Porzingis deal wind up hurting the Hawks?

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Just when you thought the sports world was getting too dull, Adrian Wojarnawski drops a Woj bomb on us all announcing that the Knicks have finalized a deal with the Mavericks to send Kristaps Porzingis to Dallas.

The trade includes a number of talented names and a bevy of different implications for teams around the league. Will players like Wes Mathews and DeAndre Jordan be bought out by the Knicks and thus making them available for a contending team to snag? How long will Porzingis, who is a restricted free agent this summer, remain in Dallas? But the only one that matters to the Hawks is whether or not the Mavericks land a top-five pick or not.

After their blazing start, The Mavs have cooled considerably and settled well out of playoff contention in the Western Conference, making this decision easy for them. By trading for an injured star like Porzingis and letting go of their current talent, it’s clear they have their eyes set on the future. Dallas is now virtually guaranteed to finish in the lottery, but can only receive their pick if it is inside top five. If not, it goes to the Hawks.

The Mavs will be aware of that as the season goes on, especially since they included two future first-round picks in the deal, according to Shams Charania of the Athletic.

They also have an owner, Mark Cuban, who has not been shy in acknowledging tanking around the league and within his own organization. So it should not come as a surprise if there are a few unexplainable names on the injury report.

Dallas is currently sitting in the 11th spot – in terms of the worst records – if the season ended today, but are only 1.5 games of having the eighth best lottery odds. With them being in the Western Conference, and this trade dealing away the bulk of their talent, it’s wise to assume they will be comfortably among the top ten worst teams by season’s end. From there, it’s up to ping pong balls to make the decision, and those damn things never seem to like the Hawks.

If the Mavericks do land inside the top five, the pick will move to a top-five protected 2020 pick for Atlanta. However, with a healthy Porzingis, Luka Doncic, a top-five pick, and cap space this summer, the Mavericks would undoubtedly be contenders in 2020, and that pick would not look nearly as good.

Keep in mind the lottery odds have flattened out significantly, giving teams with better records a more fair chance at landing in the top five. For lottery odds, click here.

 

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