The NBA Trade Deadline is March 25, so there will be plenty of rumors about some big-name players until that date. There are two reports out there today that the disappointing Dallas Mavericks have at least gauged trade interest in former All-Star big man Kristaps Porzingis, although owner Mark Cuban has denied that – then again, what's Cuban supposed to say? SportsLine offers NBA odds on Porzingis' future.
"It's not accurate," Cuban told a Mavericks beat writer about the trade rumors. "We have not discussed him in a trade at all. Has not happened." Yet, SNY's Ian Bagley and Bleacher Report both are reporting the opposite.
The 7-foot-3 Porzingis looked like a future superstar after a breakout 2017-18 season with the New York Knicks when he averaged 22.7 points, 6.6 rebounds and 2.4 blocks. However, on Feb. 6, 2018, the "Unicorn" tore his ACL in a loss to the Bucks, and he really has had trouble staying fully healthy ever since.
Porzingis missed the entire 2018-19 season while rehabbing that torn ACL yet was traded during it regardless to Dallas for Dennis Smith Jr., DeAndre Jordan, Wesley Matthews and two future first-round picks. In July 2019, the Mavs signed the Latvian to a $158 million extension.
There's no question that the 25-year-old Porzingis is a good player as he's averaging 20.5 points, 8.2 rebounds and 1.6 blocks, but he's perhaps not a No. 2 on a championship team -- Luka Doncic is the clear No. 1 on the Mavs -- because he can't stay healthy and is a major liability on defense.
Porzingis suffered a torn meniscus in the Orlando bubble last summer and October surgery then sidelined him until Jan. 13. He never plays both ends of a back-to-back, either. And Dallas has a few problems this year, but defense is probably No. 1 as the Mavs rank 27th in defensive efficiency, allowing 111.9 points per 100 possessions.
They have a net rating of minus-4.7 with Porzingis on the court with an offensive efficiency mark of 114.8 and defensive of 119.5 – that latter number is eighth-worst among all NBA guys who have played at least 10 games this season. His averages in rebounds, steals and blocks are also down from 2019-20.
For comparison, the worst team defensive rating in the NBA belongs to the Kings at 115.9. Meanwhile, Dallas has a net rating of plus-2.2 with Porzingis off on the court – offensive mark of 109.9 and defensive of 107.7. That defensive mark would rank in the Top 10 as a team.
"He's had to play his way into shape, and it just hasn't quite been the same," said head coach Rick Carlisle recently of Porzingis' conditioning to the Dallas media. "It's not an excuse thing in my mind. These are just the true facts of what's happened."
Porzingis sat out Monday's 102-92 home win over Memphis but is likely to play Tuesday vs. Boston, which is -1.5 on the William Hill Sportsbook NBA odds. Perhaps the Mavs do trade Porzingis this offseason, but by March 25 is unlikely simply as his value isn't at its highest right now.
Via SportsLine oddsmakers: Will Kristaps Porzingis finish this season as a member of the Mavericks?
- Yes -500
- No +400
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