The Dallas Mavericks pulled off the most shocking trade of deadline day when they sent Kristaps Porzingis and a protected second-round pick to the Washington Wizards for Spencer Dinwiddie and Davis Bertans. Many pundits were quick to blast the Mavs for the deal, but Dinwiddie’s play since coming to Dallas has changed opinions.
The 6’5 guard never found his footing in the nation’s capital as he recovered from ACL surgery. Dinwiddie’s number was down across the board, and the Wizards shipped him to Dallas just over six months after signing him. The Mavericks need another playmaker, and he is filling that role while scoring over 17 points per game. All of that makes no mention of the two game-winners he sank in his first 17 contests with the Mavs.
Dinwiddie’s play may have the Mavericks and their fans thinking they ran away with the trade, but Kristaps Porzingis has shined so far in Washington. Here is a look at the 7’3 Unicorn’s play, and what it should do to the perception of the trade.
Should the recent play of Kristaps Porzingis change how Dallas Mavericks view the trade?
Since arriving in Washington, KP is averaging 21.4 points, 8.2 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 0.8 steals, and 1.5 blocks in 27.8 minutes per game, while shooting 46.0 percent from the field and 87.8 percent on his free throws. If produced over the full season, the assists and steals would be career-highs with the Unicorn scoring over 21 points per game for the first time since his 2018 All-Star campaign.
Porzingis was traded to the Wizards on Feb. 10 but did not suit up until March 6 as he dealt with a knee injury. The 7’3 big man sat on the second night of a back-to-back on March 12 to continue a trend that happened in Dallas. KP misses significant time every year. The Mavericks know he was not going to be the co-star they hoped next to Luka Doncic, so they moved on.
Dallas took the opportunity to break up Porzingis’ max contract into smaller deals that are easier to trade. The Mavericks have more flexibility moving forward and the roster fits better around superstar Luka Doncic. They needed another playmaker, and KP’s game never meshed with Doncic’s on the court as the Mavericks expected.
Dallas is free to let Doncic run pick and rolls and force mismatches. They do not have to worry about Porzingis posting up in the paint or wanting more touches. Luka runs the show, and the roster is buying into their roles around him to make the Mavs a team nobody wants to face in the playoffs.
No matter how well Kristaps Porzingis plays in Washington, the Mavs are not going to regret the trade. They realized they were not going to be championship contenders with the Unicorn as the Robin to Luka’s Batman, which left them no choice but to move on.
Spencer Dinwiddie’s play in Dallas would only improve my grade for the Mavericks on the deal. They deserve a B given the 6’5 guards fit next to Luka and the positive early returns. The Mavs gave up a 26-year-old All-Star big man on a max contract to get two smaller more moveable pieces as they look to build a title contender around Luka Doncic.
Hopefully, KP shines next to a healthy Bradley Beal next season, and both teams walk away feeling like they won the trade.
Trading Kristaps Porzingis was just the first in a series of moves to get the Dallas Mavericks back to title contention. They knew what they had and were looking to move on. The front office has an important summer ahead of them as they try to add pieces and continue climbing the standings. Where will the Mavs go next? Stay tuned to find out.