It was just a couple of years ago when the Dallas Mavericks pulled off a blockbuster trade to land a 23-year old Kristaps Porzingis. Porzingis was still dealing with a Torn ACL injury at that time, but he was still young and not a lot of people were worried about him being injury-prone.
However, the 7-foot-3 Latvian center has sustained consecutive injuries in his almost-two-year stint with the Mavericks. Porzingis has missed 14 games in the first half of this season. There is a sense that the Mavericks are walking on eggshells in trying to cautiously manage their star’s health.
Let’s look at the three teams that the Mavericks could engage in a Porzingis trade.
The Magic hasn’t been talked about a lot as a potential Porzingis trade destination, but the Mavericks could look into this possibility. Shipping Porzingis will further strip the Mavs of their already-depleted frontcourt depth, so it is expected that they would want a legitimate big man in return.
Nikola Vucevic will be a solid return for the Mavericks. The two-time All-Star center is averaging career-highs of 24.6 points and a stellar 41% clip from the three-point line this season. He is turning 31 this year, but he still has two or three seasons in his prime.
Vucevic’s career-best season will definitely increase his value in the trade market. That will give the Magic the leverage in negotiations, so the Mavericks have to get creative with the package they will offer. A straight swap featuring Porzingis and Vucevic will certainly not happen, especially with the former’s injury history.
Dallas needs to throw in an asset or two to make this deal a fair move for both sides.
When Lauri Markkanen deviated from the sophomore slump myth and put up an excellent performance in his second year, comparisons between him and Porzingis cropped up.
They are both seven-footers who have solid inside-outside games on the offensive end of the floor.
Markkanen’s production drastically decreased in his third year, and while it’s true that he is bouncing back nicely this season, it’s also a fact that he will be entering restricted free agency this offseason.
Are the Bulls front office confident enough that they could bring back Markkanen? Or do they try to move him this season to nab a quality veteran in the process?
The Bulls need a star, even if it’s a borderline one like Porzingis, to bolster their depth. Getting Porzingis could even boost the Bulls’ 6th-ranked 115.0 total points per game, but they’ll have their fingers crossed in hopes that the sweet-shooting big man will not sustain any major injuries along the way.
Boston is coming off a below-average February performance that saw them net a 7-9 record. They began to turn things around at the end of the month, however. Boston is now riding a four-game winning streak. Is this roster really enough to make real noise in the playoffs?
Tristan Thompson and Robert Williams will do a better job of possibly containing the likes of Joel Embiid in the playoffs, but it’s not like someone can really stop Embiid from doing damage with his scoring. With Porzingis around, the Celtics can force Embiid to work on defense. His shooting can force the MVP candidate to cover ground.