Two years after Kristaps Porzingis was traded from the New York Knicks to the Dallas Mavericks, the Latvian big man is still trying to find his spot on the team. Fortunately, this season has started very well for the Texan franchise.
Despite only averaging 1 more point per game than last season, Porzingis is playing better with the Mavs and finally developing a good association with Luka Doncic.
Given this good start to the season from the former Knick, Mark Cuban was asked about his plans of trading the big man. The team's owner told NBA.com that was a lie, as he never thought about shipping away a player that's yet to show his best level.
"That's not true," Cuban said. "Why would I do that at all? Trades like that, you always end up further behind. When you trade a superstar, you never get the best end of it. I've always believed that KP hasn't played his best basketball yet. Now you're seeing why we didn't trade him. He's a great player. He's a good dude. All of my experiences with him have been positive, so why would we do that? But that's NBA Twitter and that's Mavs Twitter. That's what they do. They're probably trying to trade Luka [Doncic] right now."
Porzingis currently averages 21.1 PPG, 8.2 RPG and 1.9 APG, while shooting 46.4% from the field and 89.1% from the free-throw line. In his most recent outing, the 26-year-old combined for 56 points with Luka Doncic, almost half of the team's total production in the Mavs' 112-104 win over the Los Angeles Clippers, their biggest rival in the past two seasons.
It's good to see that Cuban never intended to trade the player and that decision is somehow paying off for his team. The Unicorn seems to be finding his touch with the squad, although, statistically, the team is better off with him off the floor.
After landing Jason Kidd as head coach, the Mavs rank 4th in the Western Conference, only behind the impressive Golden State Warriors, Phoenix Suns and Utah Jazz. If Porzingis can improve his net rating differential (-13.5 entering the Clippers game), the Mavericks fans will finally see a strong team that can have a deep run in the playoffs.