Kristaps Porzingis went out halfway through the team’s series against the Los Angeles Clippers with a lateral meniscus tear in his right knee. He had surgery on it; fortunately, this is the opposite knee from where Porzingis needed ACL surgery the year before.
With the short turnaround between seasons, the Dallas Mavericks will hold Porzingis out for the start of the season to make sure he is healthy, GM Donnie Nelson said on 105.3 FM The Fan in Dallas (hat tip Tim MacMahon of ESPN).
“We’re going to make sure that that’s 100 percent before we put him out there, so that’s going to be into the season before we are able to have him join us.”
Porzingis has a long injury history — including missing a season and a half with that torn ACL — and Dallas is right to handle him with kid gloves. He is a key part of their future, entering the second season of a $158 max extension they need to keep him healthy. Dallas was +5 points per 100 possessions last season when Porzingis and Luka Doncic shared the floor.
With Porzingis out, expect to see more Maxi Kleber.
This is also an example of why Dallas is actively pursuing another star to be a secondary playmaker; the Mavericks need to take some of the pressure off Doncic and provide more playmaking options. Porzingis can do that to a degree when healthy, but there will always be load management and watched minutes with him.