It was just over two years ago that the New York Knicks traded Kristaps Porzingis, a 7-foot-3 unicorn of a center, to the Dallas Mavericks. Pairing Porzingis, who can block shots and shoot from deep, with one of the NBA’s most promising young playmakers in Luka Doncic, seemed like a slam dunk for the Mavs at the time.
Fast forward, and while Porzingis has certainly had his moments, things haven’t gone nearly as well as most envisioned with the Mavericks. While his offensive numbers remain impressive, he’s slipped as a defensive force, he’s missed a number of games, and the Mavericks just don’t seem well built with him as the team’s second star to Doncic. Dallas is just 14-15, and ninth in the Western Conference.
Now, we’re starting to see trade rumors pop up. “Dallas has quietly gauged the trade market for Porzingis, according to league sources, as the Mavericks have begun reevaluating whether the 25-year-old center can truly support Doncic as the second option on a contender,” Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer reported on Monday. “They’re taking the temperature, because they know at some point it’s gonna come around,” an unnamed assistant general manager said in the piece. Ian Begley of SNY named the Golden State Warriors as one of the teams involved in talks.
Mavs owner Mark Cuban roundly dismissed any Kristaps Porzingis trade speculation. “It’s not accurate,” he told Brad Townsend of the Dallas Morning News. “We have not discussed him in a trade at all.”
"It's not accurate," he says. "We have not discussed him in a trade at all. Has not happened."
— Brad Townsend (@townbrad) February 23, 2021
That hasn’t stopped the speculation about where Porzingis could go, and what the Dallas Mavericks could seek for him. Even with questions about his ceiling, he’s still a dangerous player, and won’t turn 26 until this summer.
If I’m Dallas, I’d rather keep Porzingis and pray on a turnaround rather than sell on him at a quarter value of what you paid.
— Josh Eberley🇨🇦 (@JoshEberley) February 23, 2021
This is from Feb. 11th on a Porzingis trade to Golden St. https://t.co/7IBCFHwpt5
Golden State Warriors Receive: Kristaps Porzingis, Josh Green, James Johnson
Dallas Mavericks Receive: Andrew Wiggins, James Wiseman, Alen Smailagic, 2021 1st Round Pick (via MIN) Top 3 protected.
— Mike Bacsik (@MikeBacsik) February 23, 2021
The fan base that may be reacting most heavily to these rumors: the New York Knicks. The team’s trade of Porzingis a few years ago was not particularly popular at the time, but they’ve emerged as one of the NBA’s real surprises this season, with Julius Randle, who is now playing power forward for the Knicks, is a potential all-star, and is putting up better numbers than Porzingis.
for those asking:
22.7 PPG in 2017-18
9.5 RPG in 19-20
1.8 APG in 19-20
39.5% 3PT% in 17-18
Julius Randle this season:
Randle is 26 and will make <$20 million next year
KP is 25 and will make ~$33 million next 3 yrs https://t.co/YxV9M3VXSY
— Tommy Beer (@TommyBeer) February 16, 2021
— The Strickland (@TheStrickland) February 22, 2021
Imagine a world where Julius Randle becomes an All Star and a few days later Porzingis is traded to like Orlando for Dwayne Bacon
— Alex B. (@KnicksCentral) February 23, 2021
A year ago, who would've thought that Julius Randle would become an all-star while Porzingis would be on the trading block. For the first time in ages, the Knicks are winning on and off the court. #porzingis
— Ishaan chadha (@ishaan_chadha) February 23, 2021
You don’t typically see Knicks fans getting to dunk on other fan bases, especially years after a trade that many were pretty angry about, but here we are.