Within minutes of it leaking that Kristaps Porzingis was being traded to Dallas, it was reported that Porzingis would sign the qualifying offer, play one season in Dallas and become a free agent. That was met with eye-rolls around the NBA — the Knicks can offer five-years, $158 million guaranteed (although they likely will try to get some Joel Embiid style protections in there), if he signs the qualifying offer he gets $4.5 million. For a guy with a long injury history (he has missed 37 percent of his potential games as a Knick) that’s a lot of guaranteed money to leave on the table.
At his introductory press conference, Porzingis was asked about his plans, but Mavericks’ owner Mark Cuban cut him off and answered for him.
Does Porzingins plan to sign long term in Dallas? Cuban: “I can answer that for you. Yeah, he does.”
Well done by Cuban giving Porzingis an out and taking him off the hook.
Dallas has bet big that Porzingis can return to form and be an All-NBA level big man who plays 70+ games a season. Pair that with Luka Doncic and the Mavs think they have their core for the future. The Steve Nash/Dirk Nowitzki of a new generation.
Porzingis talked about playing with Doncic.
How this all going to play out? Good question. But Cuban has made his bet and it’s going to be fascinating to watch it unfold.