Grade the Trade: Mavericks pull off unexpected draft day move with Knicks

Dallas Mavericks, Jason Kidd, Nico Harrison
Dallas Mavericks, Jason Kidd, Nico Harrison / SOPA Images/GettyImages
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The Dallas Mavericks started out with the No. 58 and last pick in the 2024 NBA Draft.

They ended up trading their pick and cash considerations to the New York Knicks to trade up and pick French forward Melvin Ajinca at No. 51. Ajinca played professionally in France for Saint-Quentin Basket-Ball in the LNB Pro B.

For the Knicks, they ended up with German big man Ariel Hukporti.

Grade the Trade: Mavericks pull off unexpected draft day move with Knicks

For both sides, they're looking to grow deeper for their respective rosters. Both teams, when healthy, could be in championship contention for the 2024-25 season. Both pieces will be used for future development for their respective teams.

While the Knicks and Mavericks will respectively maintain a somewhat similar starting five, the development of Ajinca will be focused on.

Mavs Grade

The development of Olivier Maxence-Prosper has been seen in Dallas since his rookie year in the 2023-24 season. General Manager Nico Harrison has a history of producing young talent but also has a history of being able to bring in veteran stars, such as Kyrie Irving. His talent pool is pretty large regarding young players and veteran superstars.

The Knicks got a massive win this week trading to get Mikal Bridges. That Brooklyn trade could impact Dallas to eventually reunite Dorian Finney-Smith with the Dallas Mavericks as the Nets could be having a fire sale.

The move overall will help both teams in terms of their bench depth, but it can also help in terms of their development for the near future. In respect to both teams, they're looking to have both guys ready to go if their names are called. So, both teams might need some guys to play more minutes if some guys get injured, which we saw with the Knicks in the 2024 NBA Playoffs.