Kristaps Porzingis was the subject of many of the hottest takes for Jan. 25-31.

Welcome to another edition of This Week In Hot Takes. This time, we’re breaking down the hottest takes from sports media members from Jan. 25-31, many of which centered on the New York Knicks’ stunning trade of Kristaps Porzingis Thursday.

5. Colin Cowherd calls getting rid of Porzingis “the best day for the Knicks in over a decade”: While this trade seems largely absurd for the Knicks considering that Porzingis has been their best player in a long time, that he’s still just 23, that he’s one of only two players from the 2015 draft to make an all-star team so far (the other is first-overall pick Karl Anthony Towns), and that one of the primary assets they’re picking up is salary cap room (which only matters if you’re able to actually sign top-tier free agents, and the Knicks’ history is not promising on that front; also, their remaining roster isn’t exactly enticing to many), there are ways to defend it. Just making the case for the team going all-in on free agency isn’t necessarily a hot take. But as we’ll see throughout this column, there were plenty of hot takes to be found, especially when it came to criticizing Porzingis and the fans who loved him and were upset about this. One of those came from Fox’s Colin Cowherd, who called it the “best day for the Knicks in over a decade”:

“Knox” is rookie Kevin Knox, who didn’t seem too thrilled about this on Twitter, but who more notably currently has an 8.97 PER, ranking him 27th of 35 qualified rookies. He’s only 19, so maybe he will turn into something, but calling him a “future star” seems a bit much at this point.

Also, “room for two FA stars” only matters if those stars actually want to sign with the Knicks, and that’s far from proven at this point. And the “shot at a potential mega star (Zion)” isn’t a very good shot; even if the Knicks finish with the NBA’s worst record (which they currently hold), they would only have a 14 percent chance at the first pick, where Zion Williamson is likely to go. And while Porzingis hasn’t played this year thanks to a torn ACL, “brittle” feels like a stretch. But the real stretch is “best day in a decade.”

Rating: 🔥🔥

4. Jason Smith says this means the Knicks KNOW they’re getting two max players in free agency, “I’d say KD is one for sure,” and that they’ll be in the Eastern Conference finals next year: As discussed above, the key part of this trade is the salary cap room, but that’s only good if you actually are able to sign top-tier players. And whether the Knicks can do so is an open question, and one that can’t be resolved until free agency (unless you think that top free agents have already completely made up their minds, which seems unlikely considering that rosters may wind up looking pretty different by then). But Fox Sports Radio’s Jason Smith is confident the Knicks are assured two maximum-contract players, and that Kevin Durant “is one for sure”:

That’s a very bold prediction to make about Durant. Oh, and Smith thinks that adding Durant and maybe Kemba Walker (and maybe Williamson, if they overcome the odds to draft him) makes the Knicks conference finalists instantly:

Do we get to body slam Smith instead when that doesn’t happen? Or just continue to laugh at him?

Rating: 🔥🔥🔥

3. Lance Zierlein brings up “kidnapped mom” in NFL draft discussion of Kyler Murray: Moving away from the NBA for a short moment, NFL.com draft analyst Lance Zierlein gave us one of the most bizarre arguments for a draft pick in a long while, saying that you’d pick Kyler Murray…if your mom was kidnapped and the only way to free her was picking a 2019 quarterback to win one game?

There are lots of good arguments for Murray, but that isn’t one. For one thing, the “to win one game” idea is often used by sports pundits, but it’s absurd; there’s not much evidence that professional athletes play better in any particular game, so the best way to find someone “to win one game” is to find someone who’s skilled and wins a lot of games. Even if you embrace that part, though, wouldn’t there be some other important factors to consider here before choosing your quarterback, such as whoever’s on this quarterback’s theoretical team, what their offensive scheme is, and what kind of a defense they’re playing? But the really ridiculous part is bringing the “kidnapped mom” into it. Talk about exaggeration for effect.

Rating: 🔥🔥🔥

2. Mike Vaccaro argues Porzingis “didn’t have a PhD in winning”: Back on the Porzingis front, Vaccaro, the long-time New York Post columnist, brought out a real winning take:

Where can you get a doctorate in winning? Sheen University? Also, last we checked, basketball was a team sport, and the Knicks haven’t exactly built much of a team around Porzingis. He’s been a terrific player, but his team hasn’t, and win-loss records are a terrible way to evaluate individual players.

Rating: 🔥🔥🔥🔥

1. Dan Dakich claims his “if you draft Porzingis, you will regret it and never get out of the lottery” take was “100% accurate”: The funniest and hottest take this week came from Dakich, the Indianapolis radio host and ESPN personality, who cited the Porzingis trade as…vindication that his pre-draft Porzingis-bashing on Ryen Russillo’s show has now been proven correct?

Let’s break that down. The “never get out of the lottery” part is the same “team records apply to individual players” fallacy Vaccaro is arguing for, but the “if you draft him you will regret it” is the really hot take. How could the Knicks possibly regret it at this point?

As mentioned above, the only other player from that draft class to make an All-Star team so far is Towns, who went first overall and wasn’t available at the fourth slot. D’Angelo Russell (second overall) might make the All-Star Game this year as an injury replacement, but he also wasn’t available at #4, and Porzingis has had a better career than both Russell and third-overall pick Jahlil Okafor so far. And of the guys drafted after Porzingis who were actually available as other options, it’s pretty hard to argue right now that the Knicks would have been better off with Mario Hezonja, Willey Cauley-Stein, Emmanuel Mudiay, or Stanley Johnson (picks 5-8), or any player chosen after Porzingis, really.

And while Dakich wasn’t the only one to criticize Porzingis at the time (for example, Stephen A. Smith got real mad about that pick), at least most of the others eventually came around and realized that Porzingis was a great player. But sure, “as ALWAYS” Dakich was “100% accurate.” This is the “Again I’m right in my analysis” of basketball, and it’s working out about as well for Dakich as it did for Jeremy Roenick. Even Russillo laughed at him.

Dakich then tried to argue it further, pulling out the always-effective “you never played the game” card, and Russillo had a great response:

For taking a victory lap over predicting that Porzingis would be a bad draft pick when he was anything but, we award Dakich the hottest take of the week. 100% accurate indeed.

Rating: 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥

Hot Take Standings:

Jason Whitlock – Hall of Fame
Stephen A. Smith – 226
Skip Bayless – 198
Phil Mushnick – 167
Colin Cowherd – 76
Rob Parker – 56
Doug Gottlieb – 53
Shannon Sharpe – 35
Albert Breer – 29
Dan Shaughnessy – 26
Ray Lewis – 25
Darren Rovell – 20
Danny Kanell – 20
Britt McHenry – 20
JT The Brick – 20
Charles Barkley – 19
Dan Dakich – 18
Don Cherry – 18
Jason McIntyre – 16
Andy Benoit – 15
Tony Massarotti – 15
Ben Maller – 15
Bill Plaschke – 14
Jason Smith – 13
Kirk Herbstreit – 13
Mike Felger – 13
The Sporting News – 13
Chris Broussard – 13
Rick Morrissey – 13
Michael Wilbon – 12
John Middlekauff – 11
Michael DeCourcy – 11
Keith Olbermann – 11
Greg Gabriel – 10
Rob Rossi – 10
Bill James – 10
Joe Simpson – 10
Bob Brookover – 10
Jeremy Roenick – 10
Berry Tramel – 10
Kristine Leahy – 10
Graham Couch – 9
Chris “Mad Dog” Russo – 9
Mike Francesa – 9
Ross Tucker – 9
Ryen Russillo – 9
Garth Crooks – 9
C.J. Nitkowski – 9
Bob Ford – 8
Steve Simmons – 8
Frank Isola – 8
Michael Rapaport – 8
Bart Hubbuch – 8
Trent Dilfer – 7
Damien Cox – 7
Mike Bianchi – 7
Cris Carter – 7
Pat Forde – 7
The Wall Street Journal – 6
Pat Leonard – 6
Luke Kerr-Dineen – 6
Terry Bradshaw – 6
Greg A. Bedard – 6
Max Kellerman – 5
Mark Readings – 5
Neil Warnock – 5
Patrick Bet-David – 5
Jared Stillman – 5
Jen Rainwater – 5
Matt Walsh – 5
Jon Steinberg – 5
Bill Welt – 5
Jack Todd – 5
Aaron Murray – 5
Chris Childers – 5
Mark Knight – 5
The Herald Sun – 5
David Booth – 5
Tom Nichols – 5
Keith Hernandez – 5
Bill O’Reilly – 5
Brandel Chamblee – 5
Michael McCarthy – 5
Mike “The Reputation Doctor®” Paul – 5
Dennis Dodd – 5
Rich Lowry – 5
Chris Reed – 5
San Diego Union-Tribune – 5
David Hookstead – 5
Tomm Looney – 5
Alex Shaw – 5
Rick Reilly – 5
Randall Mell – 5
Ian O’Connor – 5
Michael Bamberger – 5
Bob Bubka – 5
Cathal Kelly – 5
Pete Prisco – 5
Bill Simons – 5
Christine Flowers – 5
Jason Lieser – 5
John Steigerwald – 5
Josh Peter – 5
Alexi Lalas – 5
John Moody – 5
Marni Soupcoff – 5
Ryan Rishaug – 5
Kurtis Larson – 5
Rod Watson – 5
Dan Wolken – 5
Chuck Modiano – 5
Joel Klatt – 5
Steve Buffery – 5
Joe Morgan – 5
Howard Eskin – 5
Nancy Armour – 5
Richard Justice – 5
Ameer Hasan Loggins – 5
Jesse Watters – 5
John McGrath – 5
Mike Sielski – 5
Gordon Monson – 5
Scott Fowler – 5
Terry Frei – 5
David Jones – 5
Sabrina Parr – 5
Abbey Mastracco – 5
Terry Cushman – 5
Rick Bozich – 5
Michael O’Doherty – 5
Simon Briggs – 5
Dan Wetzel – 5
Mike Parry – 5
Bob Ryan – 5
Robert Reed – 5
Pete Dougherty – 5
Dan Le Batard – 5
Marcus Hayes – 5
Kyle Turley – 5
Mike Ditka – 5
Erril Laborde – 5
Lowell Cohn – 5
Rosie DiManno – 5
Mike Vaccaro – 4
Mike Klis – 4
Richard Keys – 4
Peter King – 4
Bruce Levine – 4
Malcolm Gladwell – 4
That’s Kappy – 4
Mitchell Nathanson – 4
The New York Daily News – 4
“Big” Jim Murray – 4
Jeff Diamond – 4
Marc Berman – 4
Evan Roberts – 4
Corbin Smith – 4
DJ Siddiqi – 4
The Express – 4
Mark Kiszla – 4
Greg Witter – 4
Myron Medcalf – 4
Bill Polian – 4
MJ Franklin – 4
Alex Reimer – 4
Joan Vennochi – 4
Matt Yglesias – 4
Bill Livingston – 4
Michael Irvin – 4
Shawn Windsor – 4
Brock Huard – 4
Byron Tau – 4
Maggie Gray – 4
Michael Powell – 4
Mark Spector – 4
Chad Forbes – 4
Gary Myers – 4
Mark Schlereth – 4
Andy Gray – 4
David Fleming – 4
Jeff Pearlman – 4
Tony Grossi – 4
FanSided – 4
Tony Kornheiser – 4
USA Today op-eds – 4
Nathan Ruiz – 4
Lance Zierlein – 3
Michael Salfino – 3
Tom Van Riper – 3
Andy Katz – 3
Tony La Russa  – 3
Jim Brady – 3
Bill Simmons – 3
Mark Teixeira – 3
Wally Hall – 3
Damien Woody – 3
Victor Cruz – 3
Andrew Walker – 3
Jim Kaat – 3
Jason Gay – 3
Steven J. Brams – 3
Aaron Isaksen – 3
Will Muschamp – 3
Buck Lanford – 3
John Feinstein – 3
Stan Fischler – 3
Sonnie Wooden – 3
Chris Jones – 3
Kelly Smith – 3
Reggie Miller – 3
Mark Madden – 3
Larry Brooks – 3
Dan Canova – 3
Steve Rosenbloom – 3
Stephen Jackson – 3
Mike Sando – 3
Walt Borla – 3
Nick Cafardo – 3
Ice Cube – 3
Justin Peters – 3
Elise Finch – 3
Kevin Skiver – 3
David Bahnsen – 3
Harold Reynolds – 3
Kevin Reynolds – 3
Mike Sheahan – 3
Steve Greenberg – 3
Matt Burke – 3
Malcolm Gladwell – 3
Mike Milbury – 3
Mac Engel – 3
Nick Kypreos – 3
Caron Butler – 3
Don Brennan – 3
Robert Tychkowski – 3
Mike Johnston – 3
Jeff Mans – 3
Joe Browne – 3
Mike Harrington – 3
Greg Mitchell – 3
Dari Nowkah – 2
Ella Dorsey – 2
The Hill – 2
John Kindt – 2
Bill Madden – 2
Tony Gonzalez – 2
Mike Greenberg – 2
Grant Paulsen – 2
Jeff Ermann – 2
Ed Werder – 2
Ben Mulroney – 2
Ron Cook – 2
Brian Kenny – 2
Barrett Sallee – 2
Craig Calcaterra – 2
Gareth Wheeler – 2
John Cornyn – 2
Tony Dungy – 2
Bruce Jenkins – 2
Chris Wesseling – 2
Seth Greenberg – 2
Doug Smith – 2
Newsweek – 2
Teddy Cutler – 2
Will Cain – 2
Bill Cowher – 2
Paul Finebaum – 2
Charley Casserly – 2
Amin Elhassan – 2
Jim Henneman – 2
Mitch Lawrence – 2
Nick Wright – 2
Domonique Foxworth – 2
Gary Parrish – 2
Michael Farber – 2
Andy Furman – 2
Donovan McNabb – 2
Seth Davis – 2
Jon Heyman – 2
Jason La Canfora – 2
Booger McFarland – 2
Joe Schad – 2
Cork Gaines – 2

Thanks for reading! Tune in next week for more This Week In Hot Takes. As always, you can send submissions to me via e-mail or on Twitter.

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz is a staff writer for Awful Announcing.