The Dallas Mavericks need more from Kristaps Porzingis to become serious title contenders. They cannot do it with KP averaging just 13.1 points and barely touching the ball in a playoff series. The Mavs need Porzingis to play better on both ends of the floor, especially in the postseason.
KP had a healthy offseason and will be ready to hit the ground running when training camp opens on Sept. 28. The organization needs him to stay healthy, regain his lateral mobility, and continue improving his shooting efficiency. Porzingis is a unique talent, but the Mavericks must have him playing at an All-Star level to have a chance to win it all.
There was plenty of trade chatter after the Unicorn struggled in the playoffs last season, but no move was made. ESPN's Tim MacMahon discussed Porzingis’ desires on the Brian Windhorst and the Hoop Collective podcast on Sept. 23. Let us take a closer at what he said and why fans should not worry about a KP trade.
Why Dallas Mavericks fans should not worry about a Kristaps Porzingis trade
The podcast was centered on players that will make or break their teams this season, and Porzingis became the center of the discussion when MacMahon offered this quote.
"At the end of last year, Porzingis wanted to be traded. My understanding is he is ready and he feels like he has a fresh start with the coaching change. He’s had the healthy offseason. He's been able to work, not just on his game but on his body some more. That he's coming back with a refreshed feel, but at the end of last year, he wasn’t going to come out and ask for a trade. He's smart enough to understand the optics."- Tim MacMahon
That should come as no surprise. KP was frustrated with his role in the playoffs, despite doing and saying all the right things. The Mavericks used a former All-Star that should be in his prime as a decoy. Porzingis had every right to be upset.
MacMahon followed with this quote about where KP stands now.
"But by the end of last year when he stood in the corner and checked the wind for an entire playoff series, he was hoping to be traded. From what I gather, he's coming back optimistic now."- Tim MacMahon
Porzingis may have wanted to be traded at the end of last season, but that is not the case now. New head coach Jason Kidd has expressed his excitement about coaching KP, and he believes he can help the Unicorn regain his All-Star form.
The Dallas Mavericks were never going to trade Kristaps Porzingis this offseason because it did not make sense. His value is at rock bottom, and the team wants to contend for a championship. They were not trading KP for another star player, so making a move would have meant taking a short-term step backward. Porzingis needs to improve his play and help the team get into the title picture.
Trade chatter about the Unicorn will return if he struggles this season. Hopefully, Jason Kidd and his staff can help Kristaps Porzingis play at an All-Star level again. It will be one of the many things to watch this season, so please tune in and enjoy the games.