• Nathan Sherman

2019 NBA Free Agents: Kristaps Porzingis


Bleacher Report

Overview:

Porzingis was sidelined for the whole season after tearing his ACL midway through the 2017-18 season. Midway through the season the New York Knicks traded him to the Dallas Mavericks in exchange for prospects and ballooning contracts. While Porzingis hasn’t played NBA basketball in almost 20 months Dallas are still very confident in his ability to return to the court in the same or even better form.

2017-18 Regular Season Stats: 22.7 PPG, 45 2P%, 39 3P%, 79 FT%, 1.2 APG, 6.6 RPG, 1.9 TOV, 0.8 STL, 2.4 BLK

Age: 23

Strengths:

Porzingis is the most fluid and mobile 7’3” player in NBA history. He is as comfortable posting up on the block as he is spotting up around the three-point arc. He is able to handle the ball and can take players off the dribble as well. Dallas acquired him to pair him up with fellow European superstar Luka Doncic. They will form one of the top inside-out duos in the entire league, as both are versatile enough offensively to score from literally anywhere on the court. The Doncic-KP PnR is going to be an incredibly deadly action for the Mavs. Porzingis is also a great rim protector. Before he got injured during the 2017-18 season he was leading the league with 2.4 blocks per game. He isn’t the most versatile defender but has quick feet and an incredible wingspan that allow him to challenge most shots around him.

Weaknesses:

Most of the concerns with Porzingis stem from his attitude and not his talent. It’s easy to see why he was frustrated early in his career, he was on Knicks teams that were going nowhere and even though he was their lone bright spot his name was always being thrown around in trade talks. He finally got traded and hopefully that will allow the budding superstar to put all the noise behind him and focus on his future in Dallas with Luka.

Ideal Role:

He is a top offensive option in this league. I assume him and Doncic will share the number one role with Luka as the creator and KP as the finisher. KP has never played with a passer like Doncic who will be able to get him the ball whenever he has a mismatch and can fit passes into extremely tight windows.

Possible Landing Spots:

He is a restricted free agent and Dallas retains his rights. It would take something incredulous for KP to head elsewhere but if the Mavs don’t offer the full max he could look at the Clippers or Nets, both of whom have two Max slots and neither have commitments for both slots at this moment.

Expected Next Contract:

Shams Charania has reported that as soon as free agency commences the Mavs are expected to offer him the full five-year, $158 million maximum contract.

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