The Toronto Raptors will likely be one of the more active teams in the 2021 NBA offseason, as plenty of disgruntled stars could be available via trade if the front office is aggressive enough. One name that has resurfaced of late after a rough playoff series is Dallas Mavericks power forward Kristaps Porzingis.
Porzingis was acquired from the New York Knicks in a trade that both opened up cap space for the Knickerbockers while gaining them some additional draft capital. Dallas, meanwhile, thought that they had found Luka Doncic the perfect co-stars in the 7-3 Porzingis and a terrific tertiary scorer in Tim Hardaway Jr.
While Hardaway has held up his end of the bargain, Porzingis’ poor play against the Los Angeles Clippers in their seven-game playoff series really did a number on the Latvian’s stock throughout the league. Porzingis himself has expressed his frustration with his role as the Robin to Doncic’s Batman.
If a trade is combing, could a Toronto team that is deficient in size and interior scoring use him? In a vacuum, maybe, but he has too many red flags surrounding him that would make a trade for him impractical and illogical.
The Toronto Raptors need to avoid Kristaps Porzingis.
Porzingis’ regular season stats of 20.1 points, 8.9 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks per game on 47% shooting and 36% from 3-point range look solid, and that could be what prompted the Raptors to snoop around his trade market earlier in the year. The Clippers series, however, changed everything, ruining his value.
Putting up 13 points and five rebounds per game while Doncic was putting on a Herculean effort is bad enough, but doing so while getting paid more than players like Giannis Antetokounmpo and Bradley Beal shows what a nightmare his contract is right now. He’s disappointing on the court, and he’s not on it enough to justify the big payday.
Not only did the 7-3 player with a skinny frame already miss an entire season due to an ACL injury sustained during the second half of his second year, but he also hasn’t played in more than 65 games since his rookie year. Expensive, playing poorly in the postseason, AND injury-prone? No thank you!
Porzingis, ideally, would be a solid No. 2 on a quality team. However, he’s playing like No. 3 while getting paid No. 1 money, and that is not an attractive combination for any team that wants to bring him to town. Porzingis appears to be stuck in Dallas unless some sucker thinks that they have the tools to fix him.