Dallas Mavericks big man Kristaps Porzingis is the ideal on-court counterpart to reigning Rookie of the Year Luka Doncic.
Last February, the Dallas Mavericks made what could become their most important non-draft trade (Dirk Nowitzki and Luka Doncic trades do not qualify) in franchise history.
Dallas sent out Dennis Smith Jr., DeAndre Jordan, Wesley Matthews, and two future first round picks to the New York Knicks in exchange for Kristaps Porzingis, Tim Hardaway Jr., Trey Burke, and Courtney Lee.
Porzingis had become disgruntled with the losing and constant roster and front office turnover during his four years in New York. Both parties get a fresh start and a split was probably the best thing for both Porzingis and New York.
Meanwhile, Dallas landed an extremely talented young player with a combination of size, talent, and athleticism the league has never quite seen before. Porzingis can shoot and defend the rim at an elite level, run the floor well, and has better handles than most centers around the league.
All of this packaged in a freakishly long 7’3″ body. Porzingis made the All-Star team in his third season at just 22-years-old.
If Porzingis can stay healthy moving forward—the Mavericks can claim maybe the best medical staff in the NBA led by Casey Smith—the sky truly is the limit for the Latvian big man.
Porzingis has not yet had the benefit of having an elite playmaker to create easy opportunities for him. Doncic provides that. Porzingis really hasn’t even ever had just an average floor general on his team.
Likewise, Doncic did not have a go-to guy to feed the rock to last year. Harrison Barnes, Dennis Smith Jr., and DeAndre Jordan simply were not the players Dallas fans hoped they could be next to Doncic. Porzingis changes that.
Doncic’s life on the basketball court is about to get a heck of a lot easier and it’s all thanks to his new teammate Kristaps Porzingis. Here are a few ways Porzingis should be the perfect yin to Doncic’s yang.