The Dallas Mavericks were knocked out in the first round of the playoffs by the LA Clippers last season as Kristaps Porzingis was relegated to an ancillary role in the offense. He was spotting up in the corner, and there were no plays designed for him to score. It was frustrating for the Unicorn because it did not maximize his skill set.
The Mavs made a coaching change in the offseason with Jason Kidd replacing longtime head coach Rick Carlisle, and KP has talked on several occasions about how the switch has unlocked his game. Kidd is giving Porzingis more freedom to post up and attack, and the results are an energized Unicorn that is just starting to play his best basketball.
KP trade rumors flew around last season as he struggled to return to form following his offseason meniscus surgery and those talks grew louder after his playoff performance, but owner Mark Cuban denied those rumors. Here is a closer look at what he had to say.
Mavericks owner Mark Cuban denies Kristaps Porzingis trade talks
Mark Medina did a fantastic profile on KP on NBA.com where Cuban shot down that KP was ever discussed in trade talks. Fans can see his quote below.
"That’s not true. Why would I do that at all? Trade talks like that you always end up further behind. When you trade a superstar, you never get the best end of it."
The Mavericks owner had nothing, but positive things to say about Porzingis, including noting that he believes the best basketball is still yet to come from the Unicorn.
Dallas trading away Kristaps Porzingis never made sense. They want to contend for a championship now, and they were never dealing him for a package that upgraded their roster. His value was at an all-time low, and no team was giving up a massive haul to acquire his max contract. Moving him just did not add up for the Mavs.
The Dallas Mavericks have shown flashes this season, and their best basketball is still ahead. Luka Doncic and KP can be a difficult duo to stop, but can they make a deep playoff run? Stay tuned to find out.