Latvian center Kristaps Porzingis made one of the biggest headlines of the season when he demanded a trade from the New York Knicks a week before the February NBA trade deadline. With Porzingis no longer considering staying long-term in New York, the Knicks decided to trade Porzingis, together with Tim Hardaway Jr., Courtney Lee, and Trey Burke, to the Dallas Mavericks in exchange for Dennis Smith Jr., DeAndre Jordan, Wesley Matthews, and two future first-round picks.
By trading Kristaps Porzingis, the Knicks not only acquired assets that could help them speed up the rebuilding process, but they also opened a huge chunk of their salary cap space for the summer of 2019, where they could chase the likes of Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, Kawhi Leonard, Jimmy Butler, and Kemba Walker. The Mavericks don’t seem to have any regret sacrificing their precious trade assets, believing that the Porzingis-Luka Doncic tandem will help bring Dallas back to their former glory.
Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is very optimistic that Kristaps Porzingis wants to stay long-term in Dallas and said that they plan to keep the Porzingis-Doncic duo for the next 20 years. However, Marc Berman of the New York Post revealed that the Mavericks weren’t on the list of Porzingis’ preferred landing spots. Before the Mavericks-Knicks deal became official, Porzingis’ camp reportedly named four NBA teams where he would consider signing a long-term contract. These include the San Antonio Spurs, Toronto Raptors, Brooklyn Nets, and the Los Angeles Clippers.
“During Thursday’s fateful meeting with Knicks brass, Janis delivered a list of teams high on Porzingis’ list with whom he’d want to re-sign long term — with the Spurs, Raptors, Nets and Clippers included, according to a source. The Mavericks were not on the list — which is likely why Mavs owner Mark Cuban intercepted a question to Porzingis on Monday about his long-term future. However, money is important to the Porzingis family and nobody within the Mavericks organization believes he’d sign a one-year qualifying offer and pass on $154 million.”
— New York Post (@nypost) February 6, 2019
Kristaps Porzingis is expected to receive plenty of interest on the market next summer, but since he’s set to become a restricted free agent, the only thing that the Mavericks need to do to bring him back is to match offers from other NBA teams. However, it will be a very different story if Porzingis chooses to sign the one-year qualifying offer that will enable him to become an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2020 and pick his own destination.
If money and Luka Doncic can’t convince Kristaps Porzingis to stay in Dallas, there is a huge possibility that the Spurs, Raptors, Nets, and the Clippers will make a move to acquire him in the 2020 NBA free agency.