Kristaps Porzingis Reportedly Will Sign Qualifying Contract Offer for Mavericks

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistJanuary 31, 2019

New York Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis watches play from the bench during the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game against the Milwaukee Bucks, Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018, in New York.(AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
Julie Jacobson/Associated Press

Kristaps Porzingis is reportedly headed to the Dallas Mavericks in a trade with the New York Knicks, per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, but he may not stay there for too long. 

On Thursday, Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium reported the forward plans to sign his qualifying offer this summer instead of testing restricted free agency.

Doing so would enable Porzingis to become an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2020.

The 23-year-old had the opportunity to sign an extension with the Knicks this offseason but the two sides couldn't reach an agreement, making him a restricted free agent at the end of this year.

In most cases, players have the opportunity to negotiate with other teams and sign an offer sheet, at which point the original team gets a chance to match. The Mavericks were likely hoping to keep Porzingis under team control for as long as possible after swinging a deal Thursday.

However, Porzingis will reportedly choose to sign his $4.5 million qualifying offer before signing a long-term deal as an unrestricted free agent in 2020.  

Porzingis has missed nearly a full year due to a torn ACL, and it is still unknown whether he will play at all in 2018-19. Coming back at full strength in 2019-20 could help him raise his stock heading into 2020 free agency.

If he can come close to matching his per-game averages of 22.7 points, 6.6 rebounds and 2.4 blocks from 2017-18, he would likely be one of the top names on the market next summer.

Additionally, Porzingis would have more control of his future in unrestricted free agency. He could pick his new destination without his old team having the ability to retain him.

The Mavericks likely aren't thrilled about this development after their blockbuster trade, but it would at least keep him on a team-friendly deal in 2019-20 before both sides decide their next moves.