Kristaps Porzingis of the Mavericks was reportedly “frustrated” by his role in Dallas; questions emerge on “chemistry” with Luka Doncic
Kristaps Porzingis’ marriage to the Mavericks appears to have touched a rocky area.
Following Dallas’ Game 7 loss to the Clippers, ESPN’s Tim McMahon reports that Porzingis is “frustrated” by his role alongside superstar Luka Doncic.
There are questions about the chemistry between Doncic and Porzingis. Granted, the cornerstones of the Mavs franchise aren’t friends, a distant dynamic that team owner Mark Cuban compared to the early stages of the Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Terry partnership, which ultimately produced two final appearances. of the NBA and a championship.
But Porzingis has been frustrated, often feeling more like an afterthought than a co-star as Doncic dominates the ball and the spotlight, sources told ESPN.
It certainly doesn’t sound like a good thing. If Porzingis and Doncic don’t coexist well, it will be difficult for them to develop the chemistry necessary to truly take the next step and become contenders for the Western Conference.
Their connection struggles were apparent in their series against the Clippers. While Doncic was excellent and averaged 35.7 points, 7.9 rebounds and 10.3 assists per game during the seven contests affair, Porzingis was less than stellar. He averaged just 13.1 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.3 assists while shooting a meager 29.6 percent over a 3-point range.
The lower series of Porzingis angered Mavericks fans on Twitter, and Doncic could not do much to help Porzingis succeed and get away with it.
If Dallas fails to sync the Doncic / Porzingis tag team, the Mavs can try swapping Porzingis to open up the cap room needed to hunt other stars in the trade market and free agency. Of course, that won’t be a trivial matter considering how he performed against the value of his max contract.
Porzingis owes at least $ 31.6 million in each of the next two seasons and has a player option worth $ 36 million in 2023-24, which he will almost certainly take back. Would a team be ready to accept this kind of contract for a player who has only played 148 regular season games in the last four seasons? Porzingis, 25, is still young, but it’s hard to imagine that interest in him would be overwhelming.
The Mavericks should also likely take some money back from any trade, so if they don’t get a star to add around Doncic or a salary filler on one-year deals with this move, it may. not worth it.
In addition, Dallas will have to give Doncic their best soon and likely want to retain future free agent Tim Hardaway Jr., who has shot better than 39% on a 3-point range in each of the past two seasons. As such, money may soon become an issue for them as they seek to build up a competitor around Doncic.
Suffice it to say, the Mavericks are still hoping Porzingis and Doncic can function as a couple in the long run, as their alternatives to that aren’t too exciting.
On the bright side, Porzingis looks set to do the job it takes to reappear as one of the league’s most exciting young players.
“How do I feel? I mean, I’m fine. I tried to work hard, I tried to work hard,” Porzingis said, according to McMahon. “I do my part, I listen to the coaches, what I’m asked to do, and that’s it.
“I try to keep it simple for myself, so I don’t think too much, and I try to focus on what I can control. It’s being a better basketball player, going into the offseason hungry. improve physically [and] on the basketball court. I’ll do this job to get better, then the rest will work out on its own. “