While it seems like he has been in the NBA forever, Kristaps Porzingis is only 26-years-old and is about to enter his 7th year in the NBA during the 2021-22 season. However, this will only be the 6th year Porzingis will be playing in the league, as he sat out the entire 2018-19 season due to recovering from ACL surgery. 

Set to begin his third season with the Dallas Mavericks, Kristaps Porzingis faces a lot of question marks about his future.

Statistics-wise, it appears Porzingis has been pulling his weight, but when the Mavs have needed him most, the Latvian big man has been non-existent and the duo of he and Luka Doncic has not worked out as Dallas had imagined at first. 

The 2021-22 season really does seem like a “make-or-break” year for Kristaps Porzingis, but his contract could wind up being the reason he remains with the Mavericks.

The former All-Star is owed $101.5M over the next three seasons, with Porzingis having a $36M player option for the 2023-24 season, resulting in many teams around the league likely not being interested. 

However, the New Orleans Pelicans have been aggressive in their pursuit of adding talent this offseason and they could look at the Mavericks big man as being a key addition to their core.

In two full seasons with the Mavs, Porzingis has averaged 20.3 points, 9.2 rebounds, 1.7 blocks and has shot 36.2% from three-point range, making him a possible key addition next to Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson in New Orleans, two other All-Star talents.

Is Kristaps Porzingis the missing piece for the Pelicans in their quest to not only make the playoffs, but become a threat in the Western Conference?

Let’s take a look at a trade proposal put together by Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley that would result in the Dallas Mavericks trading their 7’3” big man to the New Orleans Pelicans for a handful of other assets. 

New Orleans Pelicans Receive: F/C Kristaps Porzingis

Dallas Mavericks Receive: C Jonas Valanciunas, G Tomas Satoransky, C Jaxson Hayes, NOP 2022 2nd Round Pick, CLE 2022 2nd Round Pick (via NOP)

The New Orleans Pelicans recently acquired Jonas Valanciunas and Tomas Satoransky this offseason via trade, so Valanciunas cannot be moved until after October 6 and Satoransky cannot be moved until after October 7, but these are not the only complicated parts of this trade.

As a result of acquiring Devonte’ Graham via sign-and-trade this offseason, New Orleans is now hardcapped and cannot exceed the $143M tax apron for the season.