The Dallas Mavericks lost to the Los Angeles Clippers in the first round of the playoffs, despite Luka Doncic's amazing performances. A lot of blame has been assigned to Kristaps Porzingis after the series, due to his offensive dropoff from the regular season to the playoffs.
On a recent episode of the Hoop Collective podcast, ESPN writer Tim MacMahon revealed that Kristaps Porzingis wanted a trade from the Dallas Mavericks at the end of the playoffs. Part of his original frustration was his offensive role, as MacMahon claimed that Porzingis was "hoping to be traded" after he "stood in the corner and checked the wind" over the course of the Clippers series. However, it seems as though he is coming back "optimistic" after the most recent changes in the coaching staff.
I'll say this: at the end of last year Porzingis wanted to be traded. My understanding is he feels like he has a fresh start with the coaching change. He's had the healthy offseason. He's been able to work, not just on his game but on his body some more. That he's coming back with a refreshed feel.
At the end of last year, he wasn't going to come out and ask for a trade. He's smart enough to understand the optics.
But at the end of last year when he stood in the corner and checked the wind for an entire playoff series, he was hoping to be traded. From what I gather, he's coming back optimistic now.
It has previously been reported that Kristaps Porzingis is not seen as having the best relationship with Luka Doncic. Many fans certainly wanted Porzingis traded after his performances, and that only added fuel to the speculation. However, Kristaps Porzingis had denied that he had any off-court disagreements with Luka Doncic and with this report, it seems as though he is committed to coming back and trying to help the team achieve success in the playoffs.
It remains to be seen how the Dallas Mavericks do next season, but with Luka Doncic and a healthy Kristaps Porzingis, they should at least be a playoff team. Hopefully, they are able to get further than they did this season, and Kristaps Porzingis' performances will be key to their success.