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Adrian Wojnarowski: Kristaps Porzingis, who can become a restricted free agent this summer, has yet to make a decision on his future with Dallas, league sources tell ESPN. He expects to start the process of getting to know the organization soon. Porzingis will continue to rehab his ACL injury.
The Knicks get a point guard of the future in Smith, who had a triple-double at the Garden on Wednesday night, and should now have enough cap space for two maximum free agents — with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving squarely on their radar. A source said general manager Scott Perry and Mavs chief Donnie Nelson were behind closed doors at the Garden discussing scenarios when the Mavericks faced the Knicks on Wednesday night.
Hardaway and Lee have contracts that don’t expire until 2020. The Knicks shopped Lee since the summer and Hardaway since the recent downturn in his play. According to a source, Porzingis has harbored these feelings for a couple of years, leading to his missed exit meeting after the 2016-17 season, but the Knicks’ allowing reports about Porzingis possibly being available in a trade didn’t sit well with the Porzingis camp.
Adrian Wojnarowski: The Knicks and Mavericks have scheduled a trade call with the league office to finalize Porzingis deal, sources tell @ramonashelburne.
Alex Kennedy: I texted a few NBA players about this Kristaps Porzingis trade. Most hadn't heard the news yet and thought it was fake. A lot of rival players are stunned right now.
Shams Charania: Sources: Full players involved in Knicks/Mavericks deal: Kristaps Porzingis, Tim Hardaway Jr., Courtney Lee, Trey Burke to Dallas. Dennis Smith Jr., Wes Matthews, DeAndre Jordan and likely first-round draft pick compensation to New York.
Adrian Wojnarowski: New York has agreed with Dallas on trade that includes Kristaps Porzingis, Courtney Lee, Tim Hardaway Jr., for Wesley Matthews, Dennis Smith Jr. and DeAndre Jordan, league sources tell ESPN. Players and agents are being notified of particulars. Deal may include more draft assets.
Shams Charania: Sources: New York and Dallas have agreed in principle on a trade sending package around Kristaps Porzingis for Dennis Smith Jr. Wes Matthews, other contracts, and picks going to New York, and Tim Hardaway Jr., Trey Burke among players going to Dallas. Sides finishing final terms.
Tim MacMahon: Sources confirm @TheSteinLine report: Mavs closing in on deal to acquire Kristaps Porzingis along with Courtney Lee and Tim Hardaway Jr. Package to Knicks includes Dennis Smith Jr. and expiring contracts of DeAndre Jordan and Wesley Matthews.
Mike Fisher: #Mavs first overture to trade for #Knicks #Porzingis - Sources told DBcom summer of 2017. And they've kinda been trying every since.
September 26, 2021 | 6:15 am EDT Update
“The NBA should insist that all players and staff are vaccinated or remove them from the team,” NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar tells Rolling Stone. “There is no room for players who are willing to risk the health and lives of their teammates, the staff and the fans simply because they are unable to grasp the seriousness of the situation or do the necessary research. What I find especially disingenuous about the vaccine deniers is their arrogance at disbelieving immunology and other medical experts. Yet, if their child was sick or they themselves needed emergency medical treatment, how quickly would they do exactly what those same experts told them to do?”
Irving, who serves as a vice president on the executive committee of the players’ union, recently started following and liking Instagram posts from a conspiracy theorist who claims that “secret societies” are implanting vaccines in a plot to connect Black people to a master computer for “a plan of Satan.” This Moderna microchip misinformation campaign has spread across multiple NBA locker rooms and group chats, according to several of the dozen-plus current players, Hall-of-Famers, league executives, arena workers and virologists interviewed for this story over the past week.
When asked directly about Irving’s vaccination status — or his plans to change it — multiple people familiar with his thinking declined to answer directly. But one confidant and family member floated to Rolling Stone the idea of anti-vaxx players skipping home games to dodge the New York City ordinance… or at least threatening to protest them, until the NBA changes its ways.
“There are so many other players outside of him who are opting out, I would like to think they would make a way,” says Kyrie’s aunt, Tyki Irving, who runs the seven-time All-Star’s family foundation and is one of the few people in his regular circle of advisors. “It could be like every third game. So it still gives you a full season of being interactive and being on the court, but with the limitations that they’re, of course, oppressing upon you. There can be some sort of formula where the NBA and the players can come to some sort of agreement.”
A spokeswoman for Irving declined to respond to a list of questions regarding his vaccination and playing status, and Irving did not immediately respond to a message from Rolling Stone. But as teams return to pre-season training camps next week, fifty to sixty NBA players have yet to receive a single vaccine dose, league sources tell RS. Most are considered merely reluctant skeptics. Some of the holdouts, however, amount to their own shadow roster of anti-vaxxers mounting a behind-the-scenes resistance to Covid protocols — and the truth.
Isaac considers un-vaxxed players to be vilified and bullied, and he thinks “it’s an injustice” to automatically make heroes out of vaccinated celebrities. He rejects the NBA’s proposal for a vaccine mandate and social distancing for players like him during team travel: “You can play on the same court. We can touch the same ball. We can bump chests. We can do all those things on the court. And then when it comes to being on the bus, we have to be in different parts of the bus? To me, it doesn’t seem logically consistent. “If you are vaccinated, in other places you still have to wear the mask regardless. It’s like, ‘OK, then what is the mask necessarily for?’” Isaac continues. “And if Kyrie says that from his position of his executive power in the NBPA, then kudos to him.”
Enes Kanter — the veteran center, devout Muslim and outspoken liberal — senses a creep of the religious right upon his workplace, which just happens to involve players like Isaac sweating all over him and yelling in his face: “If a guy’s not getting vaccinated because of his religion, I feel like we are in a time where the religion and science has to go to together,” he tells RS. “I’ve talked to a lot of religious guys — I’m like: ‘It saves people’s lives, so what is more important than that?’”
In their sit-down interview back in August, Durant and Green rehashed the incident and how it ultimately affected KD’s decision to leave the Warriors. Surprisingly, KD claimed it wasn’t the beef itself that pushed him away, but the way Steve Kerr, Bob Myers and the front office handled things. “It wasn’t the argument,” the former Warriors star said. “It was the way that everybody … Steve Kerr acted like it didn’t happen. Bob Myers tried to just discipline you and think that would put a mask over everything. I really felt that was such a big situation for us as a group, the first time we went through something like that. We had to get that s— all out.”