The Dallas Mavericks had high hopes when they acquired Kristaps Porzingis from the New York Knicks in 2019. They figured they had their franchise foundation set for the foreseeable future with him and Luka Doncic and be NBA title contenders for years to come. Fast forward to the present day and that no longer seems to be the case.
A lot of the same issues that persisted with Porzingis in New York have continued in Dallas. He cannot stay healthy, which is the biggest detriment. He also was non-existent in the team’s first-round series loss to the LA Clippers.
Kristaps Porzingis did not look like the franchise player Dallas thought they were getting or signed to a monster extension. Now, it sounds like they are looking to get out of the deal already.
There were rumors around the NBA trade deadline that the Mavericks were shopping Porzinigs, offering him to the Golden State Warriors in a deal for Kelly Oubre Jr. While Mark Cuban denied that happened, rumors have persisted.
If the Mavericks are going to trade Kristaps Porzingis, doing it when he has some value left makes sense. That contract isn’t getting any easier to stomach and his injury history will only get lengthier over time.
Here are four players the Dallas Mavericks should target in a return trade package for The Unicorn.
This would be a swap of contacts both teams may be having buyers remorse on. The Charlotte Hornets spent lavishly on Gordon Hayward, signing him to a monstrous four-year, $120 million deal in 2020.
Like Kristaps Porzingis, Hayward has some injury concerns, but when he is on the court he produces. In 44 games this past season, Hayward scored 19.6 points per game with 5.9 rebounds and 4.1 assists.
Hayward was extremely efficient from the field as well, knocking down 47.3 percent overall, 41.5 percent from 3-point land and 84.3 percent from the foul line.
His skillset would also mesh perfectly alongside Luka Doncic. Doncic carries a lot of the offensive load. He is the leading scorer and more often than not the only table-setter. Having another capable playmaker alongside him would be beneficial.
With Tim Hardaway Jr. and Josh Richardson both free agents, the already short-handed wing rotation could be even shorter in 2020-21. Acquiring Hayward would help offset that and keep the Dallas Mavericks from having to put too much on the plate of 2020 first-round pick Josh Green into too big of a role in his sophomore season.
The Golden State Warriors were one team the Dallas Mavericks already engaged in trade talks centered around Kristaps Porzinigs. It would not be a surprise if they did it again.
While a Kelly Oubre Jr. trade could still happen, as the teams could work out a sign-and-trade, his teammate, Andrew Wiggins, would present another good target for Dallas to pursue.
Dallas needs help on the wings and Wiggins would provide that. He made strides with the Warriors, looking more like the two-way wing player that the Minnesota Timberwolves envisioned him being when they acquired him with the No. 1 pick in the Kevin Love trade in 2014.