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NBA Rumors: Kristaps Porzingis 'Optimistic' About Mavs Future After Wanting Trade

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 24, 2021

Jevone Moore/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Dallas Mavericks power forward Kristaps Porzingis reportedly feels a "fresh start with the coaching change" from Rick Carlisle to Jason Kidd and is no longer seeking a trade.

ESPN's Tim MacMahon reported Thursday on the Hoop Collective Podcast (h/t Real GM) that Porzingis "wanted to be traded" after the 2020-21 NBA season, but his outlook has changed.

"But at 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," MacMahon said. "From what I gather, he's coming back optimistic now."

Amid signs of discontent, Mavs governor Mark Cuban fanned the flames in May on the K&C Masterpiece Show (h/t Ryan Dunleavy of the New York Post) when he suggested Porzingis and franchise cornerstone Luka Doncic didn't get along at times.

"On the court they are fine," Cuban said. "I mean, coaches coach, and coach kind of runs the show so everything gets worked out on the court. That's not to say there aren't dust-ups, because there are."

It sparked speculation the Mavericks may try to trade the 26-year-old Latvian during the offseason in order to keep Doncic happy, but both players downplayed Cuban's comments.

"I've never had any problems with my teammates off the court, I've always gotten along very well with them. I don't know what Cuban was talking about," Porzingis told Spanish outlet Marca (h/t Sportando) in May. "I try to be as professional as possible, do what I have to do and be a soldier for the team."

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Doncic told reporters in June: "It's great. He's a great player. ... I think we've gotta use him more, and that's it."

No trade was ultimately made, and it appears the Mavs will enter the 2021-22 campaign with Doncic and Porzingis as key parts of their core.

Porzingis is coming off a solid second second in Dallas. He averaged 20.1 points, 8.9 rebounds, 2.3 threes and 1.3 blocks across 43 appearances in 2020-21.

If he can stay healthy after a series of injury issues throughout his career and Doncic can continue to emerge as a perennial MVP candidate, the Mavericks should have the foundation to make some serious noise in the loaded Western Conference.

The question is whether there's enough depth behind that duo to become a legitimate championship contender. Tim Hardaway Jr. is a reliable third scorer, but other players will also need to elevate their games to keep teams from keying in on Doncic every night.

Dallas is scheduled to tip off the regular season Oct. 21 when it visits the Atlanta Hawks.

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