The Mavericks are underachieving this season, currently sitting 14-15, and defense has been a major concern. Kristaps Porzingis‘ shortcomings on that end of the floor are something that’s making Dallas’ front office think about his future with the club and evaluate whether he’s the right second star to pair with Luka Doncic long-term, Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report hears.
“They’ve kicked the tires on everybody on their roster that’s not named Luka,” a source tells Fischer. “You know [president of basketball operations] Donnie [Nelson]; they’re always tinkering.”
The Mavs have quietly gauged the market for their 7’3″ big man, who will turn 26 in August.
“They’ve definitely sniffed around on him,” an assistant general manager tells Fischer. “They’re taking the temperature, because they know at some point it’s gonna come around.”
Porzingis missed Monday’s game against the Grizzlies with back tightness, and his series of injuries is another concern for Dallas and other teams around the league.
“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.”
Porzingis has three years remaining on his five-year, $158 million deal.
“I think maybe you could squeak out a lottery-protected first from somebody,” one capologist tells Fischer while cautioning that the Mavs may have to take back some unwanted salary in return.