Kristaps Porzingis Trade Rumors: 'Perception' from Execs Is Mavs PF Is Available

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistMarch 11, 2021

Dallas Mavericks' Kristaps Porzingis attempts a shot during an NBA basketball game against the New Orleans Pelicans in Dallas, Friday, Feb. 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press

Even with the Dallas Mavericks publicly dismissing trade rumors surrounding Kristaps Porzingis, there is reportedly a "perception among executives around the league is that he is available," according to Tim MacMahon of ESPN.

The forward is averaging 20.5 points, 8.6 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game, while his 47.8 field-goal percentage would be a career high.

Injuries have still limited Porzingis to just 21 games this season, including recovering from offseason knee surgery. He was also held out of three of the six games during the Mavericks' first-round loss to the Los Angeles Clippers last postseason.

The 25-year-old hasn't played 70 games in a season since his rookie year, and he missed the entire 2018-19 campaign with a torn ACL, creating significant concerns over his future.

Bleacher Report's Jake Fischer reported in February the team has "quietly gauged the trade market for Porzingis."

Dallas governor Mark Cuban and head coach Rick Carlisle have denied the rumors about a potential trade.

"We have not discussed him with anyone," Cuban told Tim Cato of The Athletic.

"Nothing's been explored," Carlisle added, per Brad Townsend of the Dallas Morning News. "I know Mark's denied it. I'm denying it."

This could be enough to keep Porzingis from getting distracted, but opposing teams are seemingly getting a different impression.

Porzingis remains a uniquely talented player at 7'3" with the ability to impact the game in a lot of ways. It was enough for the one-time All-Star to earn a five-year, $158 million contract extension in 2019. There are still questions about his value—especially defensively—with the Mavericks 1.4 points worse per 100 possessions with him on the court than off of it this season, per Basketball Reference.

Dallas must determine if he can still be part of the team's future alongside Luka Doncic.