Reports surfaced earlier this week that the struggling Dallas Mavericks were interested in pulling off a Kristaps Porzingis trade. It has become all-too obvious that the Unicorn is not that second star behind Luka Doncic to lead Dallas to championship contention.
Injuries coupled with major issues on defense has made the 25-year-old big man a lackluster fit with Dallas. In turn, the team needs to focus on adding defense to the mix while looking down the road at the possibility of acquiring another star as Doncic continues to dominate on an individual level.
And while Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has pushed back against several reports indicating that a Kristaps Porzingis trade could be in the cards, it makes sense for them to kick the tires right now.
If that is indeed the case, an argument could be made that Dallas would be selling low. However, multiple teams would be interested in adding a skilled 7-foot-3 big who is just now entering his prime and has averaged 21.3 points since the start of the 2017-18 season. Here’s a look at three ideal Porzingis trade scenarios.
Kristaps Porzingis trade to the Golden State Warriors
SNY’s Ian Begley reported on Tuesday that Dallas reached out to Golden State to gauge the team’s interest in a Porzingis trade. It certainly makes sense from the Mavericks’ perspective in that these Warriors have two elite-level wing defenders in Andrew Wiggins and Kelly Oubre. That’s exactly what Dallas needs over the short term after yielding an average of 113.8 points in its first 29 games.
How might a trade of this ilk would and whether the Warriors would be interested are two overriding questions. With both teams hard-capped, the salaries would have to work out at near-perfection. For the Warriors, this would have to include giving up Wiggins. From there, it’s safe to assume Dallas would demand a future first-round pick. It won’t come in the form of the Timberwolves’ top-three protected selection in 2021. Rather, a pick down the only and former first-round selection Jordan Poole could make it work.
Details: Mavericks trade Kristaps Porzingis and Trey Burke to the Warriors for Andrew Wiggins, Kevon Looney, Jordan Poole and 2023 first-round pick
Kristaps Porzingis trade to the Boston Celtics
This could be a match made in heaven. We already know that Celtics general manager Danny Ainge is looking to upgrade at both the wing and inside. Boston’s disastrous 15-15 start to the season has only led to more rumors that Ainge will pull off a significant deal ahead of the March 25 NBA trade deadline.
These two teams match up well. The Celtics bring in a third star to team up with Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. Meanwhile, Dallas adds one of the best perimeter defenders in the game in Marcus Smart as well as two young players, Aaron Nesmith and Carsen Edwards. The team also finds a short-term option in Tristan Thompson, who is a plus-level defender in the past. A win-win.
Details: Mavericks trade Kristaps Porzingis to the Celtics for Marcus Smart, Tristan Thompson, Aaron Nesmith and Carsen Edwards
Kristaps Porzingis trade to the Indiana Pacers
Perhaps, Dallas looks to move off Porzingis for two starter-caliber role players to help fill the void. If so, a trade with the Pacers could very well make sense for Mark Cuban and Co. This scenario includes the Mavs adding a legit rim protector in Myles Turner to the mix. Still only 24, Turner is averaging an absurd 3.5 blocks this season. Meanwhile, LeVert was brought over in the blockbuster four-team James Harden trade. The wing is a plus-level defender and averaged nearly 19 points with Brooklyn last season.
For Indiana, the idea would be to team Porzingis up with All-Star big man Domantas Sabonis. Imagine the mismatches they would create inside. Add in Malcolm Brogdon at point guard and T.J. Warren out on the wing, and this team would be something else on the offensive end of the court. They also get a high-upside rookie first-round pick to build with moving forward in Josh Green.
Details: Mavericks trade Kristaps Porzingis and Josh Green to the Pacers for Myles Turner and Caris LeVert