Kristaps Porzingis Trade Rumors: Mavericks Gauged Warriors' Interest in PF

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistFebruary 23, 2021

Dallas Mavericks' Kristaps Porzingis (6) reacts after hitting a shot during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Indiana Pacers, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
Darron Cummings/Associated Press

The Dallas Mavericks sounded out the Golden State Warriors on a possible trade involving Kristaps Porzingis, according to SNY's Ian Begley.

Jake Fischer of B/R reported Monday night Dallas "has quietly gauged the trade market" for the 2018 All-Star. Fischer also spoke to a source who said the Mavs "kicked the tires on everybody on their roster" with the exception of Luka Doncic.

Team governor Mark Cuban addressed the rumors and denied Porzingis is on the trade block:

Brad Townsend @townbrad

As the Porzingis trade-talk smoke billows, I asked @mcuban about reports that Mavs have gauged @kporzee trade value. "It's not accurate," he says. "We have not discussed him in a trade at all. Has not happened."

Brad Townsend @townbrad

. @mcuban elaborates, in stronger terms. https://t.co/Oaldstvpba

The Mavericks have invested a lot in Porzingis. They traded away Dennis Smith Jr., Wes Matthews, DeAndre Jordan and two first-round picks to acquire the 25-year-old, and they handed him a five-year, $158.2 million extension before he played a single minute for the team.

Porzingis has recovered nicely from the torn ACL that ended his 2017-18 season. He's averaging 20.4 points, 9.2 rebounds and 1.9 blocks while shooting 35.2 percent from beyond the arc with Dallas.

However, the Mavericks may not go far if the 7'3" Latvian is supposed to be the second star alongside Doncic. He ranks 71st among centers in ESPN's real plus-minus (minus-0.87), and a Western Conference executive had a withering assessment of his defense.

"It looks like it's impossible for him to get in a stance," the executive said to Fischer. "He looks like a scarecrow out there. You don't expect him to necessarily be great from the jump, but I've watched Porzingis a couple of times this year, and I'm not sure the guy can guard anybody."

Aesthetically, the Warriors make sense as a fit for Porzingis. His ability to space the floor would fit nicely in Golden State's offense, and the presence of Draymond Green would help cover for some of his defensive deficiencies.

But Green is in the first year of his four-year, $100 million extension, and rookie center James Wiseman looks like he can be a long-term piece of the frontcourt. Golden State can ill afford to become even more top-heavy since depth is already a problem.

Especially given his sizable contract, it's hard to see how a Porzingis trade actually works to the Warriors' benefit.