Dallas Mavericks: Grading the Kristaps Porzingis trade

Dallas Mavericks Kristaps Porzingis (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Dallas Mavericks Kristaps Porzingis (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /
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Dallas Mavericks
Dallas Mavericks Kristaps Porzingis Copyright 2016 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The deal

Dallas Mavericks receive: Kristaps Porzingis, Tim Hardaway Jr., Trey Burke, and Courtney Lee

New York Knicks acquire: Dennis Smith Jr., DeAndre Jordan, Wesley Matthews, and two future first round picks

Porzingis a star with health questions

The trade hinges on the production and longevity of Kristaps Porzingis in Dallas. Make no mistake the Mavericks took on some bad contracts and gave up a ton of future assets to secure the services of the 7’3 Porzingis.

Last season, he was named to the All-Star team before he tore his ACL. Kristaps averaged 22.7 points, 6.6 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 0.8 steals, 1.9 3-pointers made, and 2.4 blocks per game in 32.4 minutes a night. Throw in 39.5 percent from 3-point range and 79.3 percent on his free throws, and Porzingis truly produced into his Unicorn nickname.

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If the Mavericks secured a healthy Porzingis, the grade would be an A. All they would need to reach an A-plus would be a commitment that he is staying long-term. Unfortunately, Kristaps had his serious knee injury on Feb. 6, 2018. He has yet to play in an NBA game this season.

That brings questions about not only him playing in the short-term, but his health moving forward. Look at Derrick Rose for an example of a young player who tore his ACL and was never quite the same. Rose had multiple knee injuries following the initial procedure.

Porzingis is also a massive man at 7’3 and overcoming knee and foot injuries can be challenging for bigs.

The Mavericks took a risk in acquiring Kristaps Porzingis, but trading for him now was the only way to secure a young All-Star to pair with Luka Doncic in what could be the best pick-and-roll duo in the NBA next season.