The NBA All-Star break is just around the corner signaling the upcoming NBA trade deadline, and a new yet unexpected name has found its way to the block within this past week.
Former All-Star and now big man for the Dallas Mavericks, Kristaps Porzingis, is rumored to have quietly found his way into the midst of trade talks.
A combination of injuries and poor shooting performances have led to these alleged talks, but as of now nothing is entirely confirmed.
While Porzingis has definitely not had the year the Mavericks were hoping for, dealing him to another team may be a rushed and irrational decision by the franchise in the long run.
Firstly, when considering how well Porzingis played for the Mavericks last year, along with the fact they have openly stated they are committed to developing a strong core with him and Luka Dončić, it begs the question as to why they would want him gone already.
Just two years ago the Mavericks sent a hefty trade package of DeAndre Jordan, Wesley Matthews, Dennis Smith Jr. and two first-round picks, (2023 being top-10 protected), to the New York Knicks to acquire the 7’3 Latvian forward.
It should also be noted that the Mavericks have already offered and signed Porzingis to a five-year, $158 million contract extension. A big contract in combination with consistent injuries is generally not a tandem most teams in the league would be willing to trade for.
On top of all of this, Porzingis is still having a very good year statistically. In the 17 games he has played, Porzingis has posted averages of 20.5 points per game, 8 rebounds and 1.6 blocks on 47.3% from the field and 35.2% from three.
Those numbers undoubtedly indicate a good season from the big man, just in limited production. Taking all of this into account, it would seem a bit presumptuous of the Mavericks to move Porzingis after just half a season of limited availability.
Trading Kristaps Porzingis also not only worsens the team’s already-anemic interior defense a considerable amount, but it also limits their ability to stretch the floor leaving only Maxi Kleber and Dwight Powell to do so.
Of course, injuries are important and should never be underestimated when trying to build a championship roster, and this has been a consistent issue for Porzingis his entire tenure with the Mavericks. As of now, however, the Mavericks need to remain patient.
Kristaps Porzingis is undoubtedly one of the best at his position in the NBA when healthy and is part of one of the best young cores in the league alongside Luka Dončić. The Mavericks are much better with him on the floor regardless of what statistics may indicate, and this team needs to take notice of that.
With time and recovery, Porzingis should be able to return to his former All-Star caliber level of play and help the Mavericks play like they were expected to, as one of the most dominating forces in the west.
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