Kristaps Porzingis is a player who has received a lot of criticism after the Dallas Mavericks' most recent playoff run. Despite holding 2-0 and 3-2 leads on the Los Angeles Clippers, the Dallas Mavericks were unable to advance to the second round of the playoffs, losing the last two games of the series. Porzingis' scoring has been brought up as a cause of their collapse, as his scoring dropped from 20.1 PPG in the 2020-21 regular season to 13.1 PPG in the 2020-21 playoffs.
As a result of the Mavericks losing in the first round, there were a lot of trade rumors and other speculation regarding Kristaps Porzingis. Some speculation involved the relationship between Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis. Stephen A. Smith notably stated that "Kristaps Porzingis isn't seen as having the best relationship with Luka Doncic", and suggested that Porzingis should be traded for a "bonafide secondary scoring option".
Kristaps Porzingis has recently shut down those rumors when speaking to Mitch Lawrence of SiriusXM NBA Radio, claiming that the duo "get along well" while reminding everyone that "we're all professionals" when referring to himself and Luka Doncic. He also added that the Mavericks have better chemistry going into the season and that they are in a "good place".
It doesn't matter. We're all professionals at the end of the day, and we get along well. We get along well. We get along great. I've never had any issues with any teammates outside of the basketball court.
We're excited. We're gonna go, we're in a good place. Chemistry, as we've mentioned before in the interview is extremely important, and I think we have that this year.
There's no doubt that when he's healthy, Kristaps Porzingis can be very impactful for the Mavericks. He is one of the best shooting big men in the league. It remains to be seen how the Mavericks do next season, but Porzingis definitely part of their plans. Coach Jason Kidd believes that Porzingis is a "perfect fit" with Luka Doncic, and hopefully, we see him get the best out of the Latvian big man.
With Luka Doncic at the helm, the Dallas Mavericks will be a solid team for years to come. Even with Doncic present though, their hopes of truly competing and getting further in the playoffs rely on Kristaps Porzingis. It's certainly good to see him in good spirits ahead of the season. Perhaps he'll have a good bounceback from his series against the Clippers, and prove all his haters wrong.