With Luka Doncic, the Dallas Mavericks have their star. And, in his hands, it's safe to say the franchise is headed for a bright future.
But how far can they go with Kristaps Porzingis as the sidekick? As questions continue to surface about KP's durability and potential, his place on the Mavs continues to be shrouded in doubt, and trade rumors to swap him for another, more "worthy" player continue to heat up.
"Porzingis is, without doubt, a talented player, but he has struggled to stay healthy his entire career," writes Zach Dupont of Basketball Insiders. "The most games Porzingis has ever played in a season was his rookie season in 2015-16 when he played 72. Since then, he hasn’t played more than 62 games in a season, including missing the entire 2018-19 season due to a torn ACL. A bold move for the Mavericks would be to begin shopping Porzingis for a new sidekick, one who can be counted on to be on the court alongside Doncic every game."
In one recent trade suggestion, Zach Dupont suggested an intriguing replacement for the scoring big man: John Collins of the Atlanta Hawks.
One name that could be a favorable replacement is Atlanta Hawks’ forward John Collins. The 23-year-old Collins is in his fourth season in the NBA, and his skill set would be an excellent fit alongside Doncic while also providing a ton of upside to be an All-Star. This year, Collins is averaging 17.9 points and 7.7 rebounds per game while shooting 52.8 percent from the field and 37.4 percent from three.
The Mavericks have had a pretty underwhelming season, standing at 8th in the Conference with a 21-19 record. trading for a guy like Collins, who is more skilled and dependable, could be the push they need to secure their spot in the West playoffs and, eventually, the elites.
The 23-year-old forward is one of the best young players in the league, with season averages of 18 points, 7.6 rebounds, and 1.4 assists per game on 53.3% shooting.
We'll see soon enough if Dallas is able to get him before this season's trade deadline.