The “Unicorn” could be on the move once again.
Just over two years since he landed in Dallas, Kristaps Porzingis could find a new squad this season, per Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer. Fischer reports that the Mavericks are gauging trade interest in Porzingis, potentially hoping to retool the squad to fix its ailing defense. The Mavericks sit at 14-15 (ninth in the Western Conference).
“They’ve definitely sniffed around on him,” an NBA exec told Fischer. “They’re taking the temperature, because they know at some point it’s gonna come around.”
Porzingis was traded to Dallas in 2019, alongside Trey Burke, Courtney Lee and Tim Hardaway Jr., in exchange for DeAndre Jordan, Wesley Matthews, Dennis Smith Jr. and two first-round picks (2023 pick has top-10 protections). He signed a max extension with Dallas in July 2019 for five years and more than $158 million.
Porzingis was expected to play the No. 2 man to Luka Doncic, and has performed when he’s been on the court for Dallas: Porzingis has averaged 20.4 points per game on 43 percent shooting (35 percent beyond the arc). The issue is — as was with the Knicks — Porzingis’ health; the 25-year-old has played in just 74 games over the past three seasons, missing the ’18-’19 campaign while rehabbing from an ACL tear.
He landed on the Mavs injury report once again while dealing with lower back tightness.
Since the Dallas Mavericks traded for Kristaps Porzingis on January 31, 2019, they’ve played 136 games (including tonight). Porzingis has been active in 74 (54%) of those games.
Visualizing the number of games he’s played (🦄) vs. missed (🤕):
— Corner Three (@corner3sports) February 23, 2021
Dallas could look to improve its defense, sitting in the bottom third in most major rate categories this season.
UPDATE: Mavs owner Mark Cuban has vehemently denied the rumors that the team is shopping Porzingis.
“It’s not accurate,” he says. “We have not discussed him in a trade at all. Has not happened.”
— Brad Townsend (@townbrad) February 23, 2021
“It’s not accurate,” Cuban said via the Dallas Morning News’ Brad Townsend. “We have not discussed him in a trade at all. Has not happened.”