Dallas Mavericks big man Kristaps Porzingis will more than likely be traded this summer. Rumors persisted leading up to the March 25 NBA trade deadline that he’d be moved.
With what has to be considered limited trade value due to his injury history and bloated contract, it will be hard for the Mavericks to get equal value for Porzingis. Below, we look at five ideal Kristaps Porzingis trade scenarios from the Dallas Mavericks as the organization’s new regime takes over.
Kristaps Porzingis trade to the Golden State Warriors
- Mavericks get: Andrew Wiggins
- Warriors get: Kristaps Porzingis, Dorian Finney-Smith, second-round pick
This hypothetical trade would be the best of both worlds for the Mavericks. To say that they struggled with perimeter defense last season would be an understatement. Despite the narrative surrounding Wiggins dating back to his days with Minnesota, he’s morphed into a stellar three-and-D wing for the Warriors. In fact, the small forward boasted a better regular-season defensive wins shares than Kawhi Leonard.
The idea here would be to team Luka Doncic up with a still-young 26-year-old wing who can average 20 points per game and shot 38% from distance in 2020-21.
As for the Warriors, they get a toolsy big man to team up with Draymond Green in the low-post. A move of this ilk would likely require Golden State moving off 2020 No. 2 overall pick James Wiseman, potentially combining him with its two lottery picks in 2021 in order to find a starting three. The Warriors also nab a solid bench option in Dorian Finney-Smith who averaged 9.8 points and 5.4 rebounds 39% shooting from distance last season. He can also play both forward positions and is a solid defender.
Kristaps Porzingis trade to the Atlanta Hawks
- Mavericks get: Clint Capela, Danilo Gallinari
- Hawks get: Kristaps Porzingis, Trey Burke, first-round pick
It’s not yet known what the Hawks plan to do with big man John Collins, who is slated to become a restricted free agent. He was subjected to trade rumors leading up to the March 25 deadline and might actually warrant a max contract offer on the open market. If Atlanta is against that, a sign-and-trade could very well be in the cards — leading to more of a need in the low-post. Picking up a solid veteran wing in Burke as well as a first-round pick would also give impressive general manager Travis Schlenk more flexibility for the championship-contending Hawks.
In terms of what this would do for Dallas, it gets a defensive-minded big man to protect the low-post. Capela, 27, averaged 15.2 points and an NBA-high 14.3 rebounds during the regular season. Dallas also nabs a veteran in Gallinari who would benefit big time from Doncic’s shot-creating prowess. Prior to struggles in his first campaign with the Hawks, the Italian averaged 18.8 points and 5.4 rebounds on 40% shooting from distance in his previous five seasons.
Kristaps Porzingis trade to the Miami Heat
- Mavericks get: Andre Iguodala, Goran Dragic
- Heat get: Kristaps Porzingis
There’s an idea floating about that Dallas needs to focus more on getting players with postseason and championship experience. A former NBA Finals MVP, Iguodala would certainly qualify. Meanwhile, Dragic has been of interest to Mavericks owner Mark Cuban for some time now. He’d work well with Doncic in the backcourt. Both Iggy and Dragic would also be on expiring deals, enabling the Mavericks to hit what promises to be a loaded 2022 NBA free agent class hard.
A move of this ilk would be reliant on Miami picking up the 2021-22 options on these two veterans. It’s possible given that the free-agent market is watered down and front office head Pat Riley needs to upgrade a roster that underperformed a season ago. Teaming Porzingis up with Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo would be a risk. But the award might outweigh that.
Getting back to the Mavericks for a second. Not only would acquiring these two veterans give them some experience, it would enable Cuban to hit the loaded 2022 NBA free agent class big time with Iggy and Dragic on expiring contracts. That’s no small thing given the relationships new Mavericks general manager Nico Harrison has cultivated with players dating back to his days with Nike.
Kristaps Porzingis trade to the Los Angeles Lakers
- Mavericks get: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Montrezl Harrell, Kyle Kuzma
- Lakers get: Kristaps Porzingis, first-round pick
Do we expect drastic changes for the defending champion Lakers following a first-round exit in this year’s NBA Playoffs? It is going to be hard for general manager Rob Pelinka to do too much given Los Angeles’ cap issues and lack of draft picks to offer up in trades.
That’s why this specific deal could make sense. The Lakers add another big to team up with Anthony Davis in the low-post. They then find a way to create a reliable backcourt with the limited resources the team boasts. At the very least, Porzingis could be a No. 3 option behind AD and LeBron James. Los Angeles has not had that during the King’s three-year run in Southern California.
For Dallas, this would be a coup. It adds a three-and-D wing in Caldwell-Pope, which is a major need right now. Harrell can provide a scoring punch off the bench while Kuzma is still a talented youngster with untapped upside in the frontcourt.
Kristaps Porzingis trade to the Boston Celtics
- Mavericks get: Tristan Thompson, Marcus Smart, Aaron Nesmith
- Celtics get: Kristaps Porzingis
Talk about Harrison blowing it all up for new head coach Jason Kidd. The idea here would be rather obvious. Dallas acquires two tremendous veteran defenders, one in the low-post and the other out on the perimeter. Smart can also run the offense with Doncic finding some shooting lanes. Add in the acquisition of 2020 first-round pick Aaron Nesmith and the fact that Thompson and Smart will be free agents after next season, and this would be a solid move.
Speaking of changing things up, new Celtics president Brad Stevens has done just that in the few weeks since the former head coach took over that role from Danny Ainge. This would add another layer to it all following the Kemba Walker for Al Horford blockbuster. Imagine Horford and Porzingis teaming up together in the low-post with stud wings Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum doing their things. That’s pretty sexy.