NBA Rumors: Pelicans Could Trade Jonas Valanciunas & Tomas Satoransky For Kristaps Porzingis

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JB Baruelo

Dallas Mavericks center Kristaps Porzingis has been one of the subjects of trade rumors earlier in the 2021 offseason. Mavericks owner Mark Cuban may have said on numerous occasions that they have no plan of trading Porzingis but after he failed to live up to expectations as the team's second-best player last season, most people believe that Dallas is better off getting rid of the Latvian center.

Instead of keeping him, the Mavericks could use Porzingis as a trade chip to acquire quality players who would help Luka Doncic carry the team next season.

Brand-New Landing Spot For Kristaps Porzingis

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In a recent article, Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report created a list of brand-new landing spots for the league's top trade targets. For Porzingis, it's the New Orleans Pelicans. The Pelicans may still be in the middle of the rebuilding process, but they would need to speed up their timeline to keep the face of the franchise, Zion Williamson, happy in New Orleans.

With his health issues and albatross contract, trading for Porzingis would be a risky move for the Pelicans. However, when he's 100 percent healthy, pairing Porzingis with Williamson would undoubtedly make the Pelicans a more competitive team in the Western Conference next season.


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Pelicans Could Use Two Expiring Contracts To Acquire Kristaps Porzingis

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With his inconsistent performance and inability to stay healthy last season, the Mavericks aren't expected to demand the king's ransom in case they decide to make Porzingis available on the trade market. According to Buckley, the Pelicans could catch the Mavericks' interest in trading Porzingis by offering a trade package centered around the expiring deals of Jonas Valanciunas and Tomas Satoransky.

Sending Porzingis to New Orleans for two players who are entering the final year of their respective contracts would allow the Mavericks to obtain salary cap flexibility for the summer of 2022.

Mavericks Add Two Solid Role Players

Aside from opening up a huge chunk of their salary cap space before the 2022 free agency, the Mavericks would also be adding two solid veteran role players in Valanciunas and Satoransky. Valanciunas would provide the Mavericks with an immediate replacement for Porzingis at the starting center position.

He would boost the Mavericks' performance on both ends of the floor, giving them a very reliable scoring option under the basket, a monster rebounder, and a quality rim protector. Meanwhile, the potential arrival of Satoransky in Dallas would help them ease the loads on Doncic's shoulders in terms of scoring and ball handling.

Kristaps Porzingis Starts New Journey In New Orleans

Porzingis would undeniably be an interesting acquisition for the Pelicans. He may have gone through plenty of ups and downs in the past years but if he can stay away from injuries, he still has a strong case to become one of the most dominant big men in league history.

Porzingis would give the Pelicans another young All-Star who can score anywhere on the court, rebound the ball, and protect the rim. Last season, he averaged 20.1 points, 8.9 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks while shooting 47.6 percent from the field and 37.6 percent from beyond the arc, per ESPN.