The Mavericks have been hesitant to trade Kristaps Porzingis, even though the big man has shown he can make an impact when he’s on the court, he has also shown he is injury prone. The reason for the hesitancy is because of a mistake the Mavericks and Owner Mark Cuban made, involving Steve Nash, over 17 years ago. “We let Steve Nash walk and it was the dumbest thing I’ve ever done. At that point in time I was getting medical advice, saying his back may not make it, obviously that advice was wrong,” Cuban said on WFAN’s “Moose and Maggie.” Nash’s medical problem was spondylolisthesis, a condition where one bone in the spine slides forward over the bone below it, usually occurring in the lower back. Nash went on to win NBA MVP the following two seasons and Nash’s Suns beat the Mavericks in six games in the 2005 Western Conference Semifinals. That mistake with Nash has caused Cuban to have PTSD and not want a repeat of a star player leaving the team only to become one of the best, if not the best in the league, even if they are injury prone or have medical issues.
Porzingis has not played in over 65 games in a season since his second year in the league. As a Maverick the most games Porzingis has played in a season has been 57, that was in the 2019-2020 season, his first season in Dallas. Porzingis has had many back and leg injuries, the biggest one being while he was still part of the New York Knicks, a torn ACL that cost him a season and a half.
But when Porzingis is healthy he plays great. During his three years in New York, Porzingis averaged 17.8 points per game (PPG), 7.1 rebounds per game (RPG), 1.3 assists per game (APG), 0.7 steals per game (SPG). and 2.0 blocks per game (BPG). In his three years here in Dallas so far, he’s averaged 20.1 PPG, 9.1 RPG, 1.7 APG, 0.6 SPG, and 1.7 BPG when he’s healthy. Not to mention, Porzingis also is a one-time All-Star.
This season he has already missed 5 games, while playing in 7 games. Porzingis has averaged 17.9 PPG, 7.4 RPG, 1.4 APG, 0.6 SPG, and 1.6 BPG in the games he has played this season. When healthy he has shown he can be a good second-option for the Mavericks behind Luka Doncic.
Porzingis is also a good three-point shooter. In an era where three-pointers are becoming more prominent, having a big guy that can shoot beyond the arc can come in handy. Porzingis’ career three-point percentage is 35.9%. This season he’s shot 30.0% from beyond the arc, the lowest in his career, but the sample size so far is very small. Porzingis being able to shoot three-pointers is helpful for the Mavericks because it is more difficult to guard a big guy shooting from the perimeter.
Porzingis offensive rating this season is 105, while his defensive rating is 106. This season, he’s been improving his offense game-by-game so far, as his offensive rating has risen each game. This has also been Porzingis’ second best defensive season behind his rookie season. If he can continue to raise his offense up for the season, it would be great for the Mavericks, having one of their star players being consistently good on both ends of the floor.
His last game against the Spurs has been the best so far for him this season and it showed what a healthy Porzingis can do. He scored 32 points, grabbed seven boards, and blocked three shots. He also made a stunning three from half-court to end the first-half. Porzingis finished off the game with a game score of 24.2, which has been his best this season
With the past history the Mavericks had with a former superstar and the potential a healthy Porzingis has, the chances of him being traded are low and could be risky for the Mavericks. The magic the unicorn possesses is high and it could help the Mavericks have a fairy tale ending.
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