The Dallas Mavericks are looking to rebuild their team with a talented, youthful core. Last year, they started their rebuild with an exceptionally skilled guard/forward in Luka Doncic. Since then, Doncic showed glimpses of a bright future in the regular season and won Rookie of the Year on Monday.
During that time, the Mavericks also acquired another piece to add to their core. In January, the Mavericks acquired Kristaps Porzingis. Now, the Mavericks hope to keep Porzingis in hopes of building their future. According to Shams Charania and the Athletic, the Mavericks are set to offer Porzingis a five-year deal.
Porzingis was traded to the Mavericks in exchange for DeAndre Jordan, Wesley Matthews, Dennis Smith Jr., an unprotected 2021 first-round draft pick, and an additional top-10 protected 2023 first round draft pick. The trade came shortly after Porzingis met with Knicks officials, who believed he wanted a trade. The Mavericks acquired the 23-year-old big man despite an ACL injury.
Porzingis suffered the ACL injury in February in a loss against the Milwaukee Bucks. He has not played since then and missed all of the 2018-19 season. Porzingis worked out throughout the season and Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle recently said he could be ready by training camp. So, the Mavericks have a chance to retain him as he gets closer to a return.
The young player will become a restricted free agent this summer. The Mavericks plan to meet with him at the start of the free agency period. They want to offer Porzingis a five-year, $158 million max deal in hopes of keeping him. Porzingis has the option to sign with other teams, but the Mavericks can match any offer he receives. So, the Mavericks have a slight advantage over other teams.
When healthy, Porzingis is a talented player. In the 2017-18 season, he averaged 22.7 points, 6.6 rebounds and 2.4 blocks. While Doncic and Porzingis have not played together, the duo sounds intriguing. If a max-deal is what it takes to keep Porzingis, then the Mavericks should definitely go through with it.
Featured image courtesy of LM Otero / Associated Press