NBA trade grades: Knicks land Mudiay in interesting 3-team deal with Nuggets, Mavs

On a fascinating NBA trade deadline day, one of the most interesting deals was the three-team trade between the New York Knicks, Dallas Mavericks and Denver Nuggets

Each team swapped one player, with the Knicks receiving Emmanuel Mudiay, the Mavericks getting Doug McDermott and the Nuggets acquiring Devin Harris. The Knicks and Nuggets will also swap second-round picks in the deal.

And with the basics laid out, let's grade the trade.

New York Knicks (Grade: B-)

Knicks receive:

  • Emmanuel Mudiay
  • 2018 second-round pick (from Nuggets)

This was an interesting one. Still just 21 years old, Mudiay has been a disappointment in Denver since being drafted No. 7 overall by the Nuggets back in 2015. After starting almost exclusively in his first two seasons, he's been coming off the bench this campaign, and has played just under 18 minutes per game, averaging 8.5 points and 2.9 assists. 

Still, there is talent there, and the Knicks didn't give up much to get him. Doug McDermott is a fine role player, but he's not affecting your long-term goals. It's not a terrible idea to take a look at Mudiay when you only have to give up McDermott, but what makes this a bit confusing is the Knicks already have their point guard of the future in Frank Ntilikina

They both have great size, and would be a very tough defensive backcourt if they could play together, but neither can shoot well enough to make that work. Maybe Mudiay turns things around with a fresh start in NYC, and it's never a bad move to pick up young talent, but it just seems a little odd to acquire a young point guard when you just drafted one in the lottery last summer. 

Dallas Mavericks (Grade: B)

Mavericks receive:

  • Doug McDermott

McDermott has had a decent season for the Knicks coming off the bench, and can shoot the ball well from outside, hitting 39 percent of his attempts from 3 this season. He's bounced around a bunch already in his career, and perhaps yet another fresh start in Dallas will be good for him. 

It's certainly worth it for Dallas to take a look at him for the last few months of the season. You can never have too much shooting on your roster. Plus, they only gave up Devin Harris, who wasn't going to be a part of their long-term plan -- which figures to include a few seasons of rebuilding. It was a nice gesture for them to send Harris somewhere he can make the playoffs this season. 

Denver Nuggets (Grade: C+)

Nuggets receive:

  • Devin Harris
  • 2018 second-round pick (from Knicks)

The Nuggets have needed a backup point guard all season long, and they finally went out and got one in Harris. A true professional, Harris should be a big help for the Nuggets down the stretch and into the playoffs. He'll do what he does at this stage of his career -- run the team, hit open 3s and make very few mistakes. 

Getting Harris was good, but the Nuggets really messed up along the way here. They had the veteran point guard they needed in camp prior to the season in Jameer Nelson. Then they cut him to sign Richard Jefferson, who doesn't play, and ended up having to cut loose a lottery pick in his third season in order to get the vet point guard they so desperately needed. 

Mudiay has been disappointing, sure, but that's not a great sequence of decisions.

NBA Writer

Jack Maloney lives and writes in Milwaukee, where, like the Bucks, he is trying to own the future. Full Bio

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