Dallas Mavericks: When will Kristaps Porzingis play his first game?
By Tyler Watts
The Dallas Mavericks acquire young star Kristaps Porzingis on Jan. 31, but he is recovering from a torn ACL. A look at when he plays for the Mavs.
The Dallas Mavericks made a blockbuster deal on Jan. 31 with the New York Knicks. They acquired 23-year-old All-Star Kristaps Porzingis as the centerpiece of the deal. Dallas also receives Tim Hardaway Jr, Courtney Lee, and Trey Burke.
The Mavs gave up three starters including former building block Dennis Smith Jr. to complete the deal. Shams Charania sent out the following Tweet detailing the full trade which fans can see below.
Shams later reported that the draft pick compensation is two future first round picks going from Dallas to New York. It is a massive trade for both sides, but let us take a look at one of the biggest questions facing the new Mavericks big man.
Porzingis first game with Dallas?
Kristaps Porzingis has yet to play this season. He made the All-Star team last year but suffered a torn ACL in a game on Feb. 6, 2018. That means he is nearing a year on the sidelines from the injury. According to this piece from Hoops Rumors, the standard ACL recovery usually takes nine months to one year.
The New York Post reported on Jan. 11 that Porzingis was working out with an assistant coach. He both dunked and shot threes during the practice. You can find more information in the link above.
The Knicks had Kristaps’ next evaluation slated for mid-February, so he was not going to return until after that point. Porzingis would likely still need some full-contact practice before entering game action. He will obviously be eased back in and play limited minutes as he ramps up.
That likely pushes Porzingis’ timetable to early March. The Mavericks kick off the month on March 2nd against the Memphis Grizzlies at home. That game appears to be the most likely for Kristaps Porzingis’ first game with the Mavericks if they continue to follow the Knicks timeline.
Mavs may have other ideas
Perhaps what caused some friction between the New York organization and Kristaps was his perceived slow timeline to returning to the court. That could mean he feels near ready to play at this moment. The Mavericks are going to take their time evaluating his play and the injury before making any determination on when to play him.
At the minimum, Porzingis would likely need two weeks before being cleared for action. The soonest possible game would be Feb. 13 when the Mavs host the Miami Heat.
The Mavericks have six games between Feb. 13 and March 2. Kristaps Porzingis should be on the court in Mavs uniform during that time period.
Keep an eye out for more information as it becomes available. The Smoking Cuban will definitely have you covered on this developing story.