Report: Kristaps Porzingis wanted Mavericks to trade him, feels he has fresh start after coaching change

Kristaps Porzingis and former Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle
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Kristaps Porzingis looked miserable playing for the Mavericks last season. And, well, they didn’t appear happy playing with him.

Tim MacMahon of ESPN:

At the end of last year, Porzingis wanted to be traded. My understanding is he is ready for a – he feels like he has a fresh start with the coaching change. He’s had the healthy offseason. He has been able to work, not just on his game, but on his body some more. That he’s kind of coming back with a refreshed feel.

At the end of last year, he wasn’t going to come out and ask for a trade. He’s smart enough to understand the optics of that.

From what I gather, he’s coming back optimistic now.

Players wanting a trade is more common than people realize. But the intensity of trade desire can vary significantly. On one extreme, there’s Ben Simmons, who’s holding out until the the 76ers move him. Porzingis, who requested a trade from the Knicks, seemingly landed on the other end of the spectrum this time.

Porzingis has really underwhelmed since Dallas dealt multiple first-round picks and took on bad contracts to get him then gave him a max contract. He’s less aggressive offensively (though maybe would blame Luka Doncic). Porzingis’ defensive intensity has waned.

Doncic obviously remains, but Rick Carlisle resigned as Mavericks coach, and Dallas hired Jason Kidd. Maybe Kidd will put Porzingis into better situations.

But, ultimately, it’s on Porzingis to play better.