This was inevitable the day Dallas traded for Kristaps Porzingis, whether he missed all of last season with a torn ACL or not (he did). Heck, at his introductory press conference in Dallas, Porzingis was asked if he planned to stay with the team as a free agent and team Governor Mark Cuban jumped in before Porzingis could answer the question:
“I can answer that for you. Yeah, he does.”
Porzingis and the Mavericks have agreed to a max contract extension of five years, $158 million, as expected, according to multiple reports.
Dallas has made a bet that Porzingis can return to the form of an All-NBA level big man who plays 70+ games a season. The dream is that Porzingis and Luka Doncic become Dallas’ new Steve Nash/Dirk Nowitzki pairing. Porzingis is a 7’3″ unicorn of a big man who can defend inside, run the floor, and knock down threes, and he averaged 17.8 points and 7.1 rebounds a game over his career with the Knicks, all while shooting 36.1 percent from three.
It’s a big bet, there is not a lot of history of guys this size bouncing back from ACL injuries, but if it pays off Dallas is going to be a threat to come out of the West within a couple of seasons, and for a long time after that.