The Dallas Mavericks are gauging the trade value of former Knicks star Kristaps Porzinigis, league sources tell Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer.
Per sources, the Mavs have started to question whether or not the 25-year-old, 7-3 center is truly the right man to be the second option to their superstar guard Luka Doncic.
“They’ve definitely sniffed around on him,” an assistant general manager told B/R. “They’re taking the temperature, because they know at some point it’s gonna come around.”
Their biggest issue remains Porzinigis’ defense, specifically, his steady decline on that side of the floor since returning from knee surgery on Jan. 13.
Just a few months ago in Orlando, Porzingis was named second team All-Bubble after averaging 30.5 points, 9.5 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game, and was a force for them in the first round of the playoffs until he got sidelined with a meniscus tear.
Since returning, Dallas has a -4.7 net rating when he’s on the floor.
“It looks like it’s impossible for him to get in a stance. He looks like a scarecrow out there,” one Western Conference executive said. “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.”
The Mavericks may want to add a strong defensive piece to the frontcourt to help him instead, namely Andre Drummond, but between the two teams have yet to gain any traction.
In the meantime, the Mavs may have to think long and hard on if they want to trade the former All-Star. But even if they do, who knows if they can actually make it happen with his contract — 3.5 years left on a five year, $158 million deal.
“Who are teams you could in theory see going after him?” the Western Conference executive wondered. “I can’t say that’s a contract I’d pay to take on.”
Talks remain preliminary for now, but Porzingis’ journey since being traded from the Knicks could continue to get bumpy.
However, the young star has more than enough talent to get back on the right path, especially once his knee is fully healed.
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