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#pounditMonday, January 18, 2021

Kristaps Porzingis

Report: Mavericks willing to trade anyone except Doncic, Porzingis

Luka Doncic

The Dallas Mavericks are looking to make a major move to turn their team into a true title contender, according to a report.

The Dallas Morning News’ Brad Townsend reported in an article published Tuesday that the Mavericks are willing to trade anyone on their roster not named Luka Doncic or Kristaps Porzingis. The team is seeking a third start to pair to their core European duo. They would be willing to take on salary as well.

The Mavericks’ willingness to take on salary makes this a good time for them to bolster their team.

Several teams may be struggling financially due to revenue issues because of a lack of fans following March’s coronavirus-related shutdown. Some may be willing to shed salary as a result.

The Mavericks went 43-32 in the regular season and lost to the Clippers in six games in the first round of the playoffs. The Clippers are still a tough team in the West, as are the defending champion Lakers. But LeBron James will be a year older, and the Lakers won’t have much time off before next season begins. Dallas may feel that they have an opportunity to seize and want to try taking advantage.

In addition to Porzingis and Doncic, the Mavericks have Dwight Powell, Seth Curry and Maxi Kleber signed to multi-year deals.

Did Kristaps Porzingis throw shade at former team Knicks in tweet?

Kristaps Porzingis

Kristaps Porzingis certainly ruffled some feathers with a post to social media this week.

The Dallas Mavericks big man tweeted a video of a putback dunk that he had against his former team, the New York Knicks, this past season. The video was in slow-motion and set to “Father Stretch My Hands” by Kanye West.

Regardless of whether or not Porzingis intended it as shade, many Knicks fans definitely took it that way. Several of them pointed out that the Knicks had actually defeated the Mavericks in that game and in fact swept the season series. Others got slightly more personal.

In any case, Porzingis left the Knicks on fairly bad terms. The 25-year-old former All-Star was hastily traded to Dallas in 2019 after prolonged drama with the organization. The history between the two sides is probably why many interpreted Porzingis’ tweet as shade.

Kristaps Porzingis hopes to play if Mavericks advance

Kristaps Porzingis

Dallas Mavericks forward Kristaps Porzingis will not play again in the team’s series against the Los Angeles Clippers. He’s not giving up hope on a potential Western Conference semifinal, though.

Porzingis suffered a meniscus tear in Game 1 against the Los Angeles Clippers. He said Saturday he considers himself “day-to-day” and is aiming to manage the torn meniscus through injections. He added that he has no plans to leave the bubble and hopes to play if the team advances.

The Mavericks will have to win twice in a row against the Clippers to advance. That’s a tall order, especially without Porzingis in the lineup.

Porzingis had been a key part of the first three games of the series before the pain became too much for him to play through. He averaged 23.7 points per game in those three games, including a 34-point showing in Game 3.

Kristaps Porzingis out for series with meniscus tear in right knee

Kristaps Porzingis

The Dallas Mavericks won’t have Kristaps Porzingis for at least the remainder of their series against the Los Angeles Clippers.

The team announced Friday that Porzingis has a meniscus tear in his right knee, and will not play again in the first round.

The Mavericks are on the brink of elimination and will be fighting to stay alive in Sunday’s Game 6. However, it sounds like Porzingis would likely miss more time than that even if the Mavericks stage a comeback and advance.

This is the same knee that has given Porzingis trouble previously this season. It is not, however, the knee in which he suffered a torn ACL over two years ago.

The 25-year-old center hasn’t played since Game 3 of the series. He was averaging 23.7 points per game in the three contests he did play in.

Doc Rivers calls Kristaps Porzingis’ Clippers criticisms ‘ridiculous’

Doc Rivers

There appears to be some real tension developing between the Los Angeles Clippers and Dallas Mavericks after Game 1 of their playoff series.

Mavericks forward Kristaps Porzingis was ejected from Dallas’ Game 1 loss for picking up two technicals, which many felt were weak calls. Porzingis stirred the pot a bit after the game, suggesting that the Clippers’ role players tactically agitate opponents.

Clippers coach Doc Rivers took exception to that on Tuesday, calling it “ridiculous” to assert that Clippers players are going out of their way to try to agitate opponents.

“We have some guys who are agitators. I think that’s good,” Rivers said, via Mark Medina of USA Today. “But I can guarantee you that wasn’t on our game-plan list. That’s just ridiculous.”

Porzingis was likely referring to Patrick Beverley and Marcus Morris, who have gained reputations for being physical players who like to talk trash. Morris’ shove on Luka Doncic was what inspired Porzingis to intervene in the scuffle that got him his second technical on Tuesday, and Beverley also got involved in the confrontation.

Morris even agitates his own teammates sometimes. Porzingis and Rivers are in agreement on the key point: some of the Clippers’ role players definitely get under opponents’ skin, whether they plan it or not. It works, too — it helped get Porzingis tossed from Game 1.

Mark Cuban not commenting on controversial Kristaps Porzingis ejection

Mark Cuban

Mark Cuban has always been one of the most outspoken team owners in sports, but the Dallas Mavericks boss chose to stay quiet following the controversial ejection of Kristaps Porzingis on Monday night.

Porzingis was ejected during Game 1 of his team’s playoff series against the Los Angeles Clippers after he received two technical fouls. The first was for protesting a foul call, and the second was for getting involved in a minor skirmish between between Luka Doncic and Marcus Morris.

According to ESPN’s Tim MacMahon, Cuban declined to comment when asked about the ejection after the Mavericks’ 118-110 loss.

Cuban would have drawn an automatic fine from the NBA if he criticized the officiating crew, so he likely did not feel like dealing with that. However, it would have been understandable if he sounded off about the situation.

Porzingis was ejected with 9:10 remaining in the third quarter. The big man had 14 points in 20 minutes prior to being given the boot, so the ejection could have been the difference between Dallas winning and losing. Most people who see the video of the skirmish will agree Porzingis did not deserve a second technical.

Fans furious after Kristaps Porzingis ejected for second technical foul

Kristaps Porzingis

Kristaps Porzingis was ejected from Game 1 of the Los Angeles Clippers-Dallas Mavericks first-round playoff series on Monday, which led to plenty of backlash from fans.

Porzingis received a technical foul for getting involved in a skirmish between Luka Doncic and Marcus Morris in the third quarter of the game. Porzingis pushed at Morris to tell him to back away from Doncic. Because it was his second tech of the game, Porzingis triggered an automatic ejection.

The Mavericks big man also was called for a technical foul earlier in the game for protesting a foul call when he thought he got a block.

ESPN analyst Jeff Van Gundy criticized the ejection for coming after two weak foul calls. Many watching the game agreed.

Porzingis had 14 points in 20 minutes prior to his ejection. This marked a pair of firsts for the Latvian star: it’s his first career ejection and it came in his first career playoff game.

Kristaps Porzingis says missing coronavirus test was ‘mistake’

Kristaps Porzingis

Kristaps Porzingis was in quarantine for a day after missing a coronavirus test in the NBA Bubble, which he calls a “mistake.”

Players in the NBA’s bubble are required to be tested daily for the coronavirus. The Dallas Mavericks big man missed his test on Saturday and could not scrimmage with his team on Sunday as a result.

Porzingis was with the team Monday and explained to the media what happened.

“It was just a mistake on my part. It was a day off and everything kind of threw me off a little bit and I just kind of missed it. It is what it is now. I can’t turn back the time and do the test. I wish I could,” Porzingis said.

Paul Millsap had to miss the Nuggets’ scrimmage on Saturday for the same reason.

The league has done a good job of keeping the coronavirus out of their campus setting at Disney World in Orlando, Fla., but the actions of Porzingis and Millsap, as well as Lou Williams, remind us that the cooperation of all involved is just as important as the testing protocol itself.

Kristaps Porzingis appears headed back to Dallas before NBA restart

After three months off, the NBA is gearing back up for a return, and a post from Kristaps Porzingis on Instagram reminded us of that.

Porzingis posted on his Instagram Story Wednesday night that he was flying to Dallas.

Porzingis’ Mavericks are seventh in the West at 40-27 and will be among the 22 teams participating in the restarted NBA season in Dallas. Players are expected to convene at their team headquarters before traveling to Orlando to begin the quarantine period ahead of the season’s restart.

The NBA season has been suspended since March 11, so seeing players get back together in preparation of the restart is exciting for them and the league’s fans.

Mark Cuban was stunned when Knicks offered Kristaps Porzingis trade

Mark Cuban

The Kristaps Porzingis trade was a shocker when it first happened, and the team that ended up acquiring him even thought so too apparently.

Appearing this week on WFAN’s “Moose and Maggie,” Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban discussed his team’s move for Porzingis and admitted that he was taken aback when the New York Knicks offered their 7-foot-3 star.

“Very,” said Cuban when asked how stunned he was to receive the offer. “It happens in the NBA. It’s like the James Harden trade. Harden gets traded from OKC to the Rockets and I’m like, damn, why didn’t we even get that offered to us? We weren’t in the mix. Nobody was. It was one phone call and the Rockets said yes. [The Porzingis trade] was our one phone call.

“We already had those conversations before. GMs talk all the time,” Cuban added. “We’re willing to do this if you ever want to give him up … We used to get calls on Dirk [Nowitzki] ‘We’ll give you A,B,C,D,E and F,’ But we’re not trading Dirk ever. [They said], ‘Well, if you do.’ In this case, [the Knicks] changed their mind.”

The Mavs ended up acquiring Porzingis, already a rising All-Star and potential franchise centerpiece when the trade happened in early 2019, for a package based around DeAndre Jordan, Wesley Matthews, Dennis Smith Jr, and a pair of first-round picks. Also sent to Dallas were Trey Burke, Courtney Lee, and Tim Hardaway Jr, who was the Mavs’ third-leading scorer this season.

While Porzingis was nursing a torn ACL at the time and had been clashing with the Knicks’ front office, the trade does not look any better for them in hindsight. As for the Mavs, to land a one-of-a-kind star like Porzingis just months after drafting another generational talent in Luka Doncic is a touch of good fortune that does not come along too often. If you ask the rest of the NBA too, they were just as surprised as Cuban that Porzingis was available.