Report: Kristaps Porzingis first threatens to sign qualifying offer, not re-sign, but now will give Mavs a chance

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It was easy to see why Dallas would want to trade for Kristaps Porzingis — pair him with Luka Doncic and they could have two cornerstone pieces to build a title contender for the future around. Porzingis is the unicorn who can play inside and out, Doncic is the pick-and-roll master and gifted passer who will make life easier on the court for KP.

Except Porzingis apparently doesn’t want to be traded to Dallas.

He’s threatening to play for less, signing the qualifying offer, to give him the quickest path to unrestricted free agency, reports Shams Charania of The Atheltic.

That may have been an emotional first reaction to getting traded — he met with the Knicks and complained about the team’s direction Thursday morning and was traded Thursday afternoon — and he and his camp are calming down. From Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

Dallas is going ahead with the trade call. As they should.

Porzingis this summer will be a restricted free agent, which means another team could make an offer — including a max offer — to Porzingis but Dallas would have the right to match. And they would. Or, Dallas could make an offer itself, or it could let the market set the price then just match it. Before his torn ACL Porzingis was a no-brainer max offer guy, now there are questions about how he bounces back (and not a lot of precedent for how mobile 7’3″ guys respond from this surgery).

Porzingis qualifying offer is $7.5 million. A five-year max offer from Dallas would be $158 million (that’s what Karl-Anthony Towns in Minnesota and Devin Booker in Phoenix have already signed).

Is a guy coming off an ACL tear going to turn down that kind of difference in guaranteed money? The Mavericks could negotiate for him to take a little less in exchange for a player option on the back-end of that contract, if the sides agree.

Top rookies always sign the extension — it’s the first big contract, a chance to go from making millions to setting up your family for generations money. If said player is unhappy, they force their way out at the end of that rookie deal (see Anthony Davis for an example). But the guys take the money. Plus, Dallas is considered one of the most player-friendly organizations, with Mark Cuban at the helm.

Porzingis very well may take that money this summer.

But the threat of him trying to leave earlier is on the table.