Kristaps Porzingis finished a tough season with the Dallas Mavericks, starring in controversies mainly with teammate Luka Doncic. These two are expected to be the team leaders, but their personalities make things difficult, reportedly creating a rift between them.
The Mavs made some significant changes this offseason, parting ways with Rick Carlisle, bringing a new head coach in Jason Kidd and a new GM in former Nike executive Nico Harrison.
It remains to be seen what will happen with Porzingis since the Latvian player isn’t happy with his role on the team. He is seen as the second-best player on the roster. Yet, this past season looked like anything but that.
Talking with Latvian sports studio, the former New York Knicks big man opened up about his 2020/21 season, stating that he did his job but couldn’t get the ball as much as he would’ve liked, especially during the playoff.
Via Redditor “The_Devil201“:
”I was told that since I’m being guarded by Kawhi, it would be better for me to stretch the floor and if I saw the opportunity, I could attack the paint. I was out of the pick and rolls, the ball didn’t go through me at all. Just play defense, run to the corner and wait for the opportunity. But I was ready to accept it, if that meant winning, all I wanted was to win. ”
He later states that he understood his job and what he had to do, became fine with it and found a way to give his maximum on the court in that role. Also says that the critique was hard at first because he has a MAX contract and people expect more from him. Says he feels a lot better on the court when he’s more lightweight, but that makes him a lot more injury prone, so he’s working hard to find that middle road of being light but strong enough to not get injured.
The Unicorn hasn’t had a good time in the NBA since he left the Knicks two years ago. He’s trying to find his touch in Dallas, but things haven’t clicked. His relationship with Doncic is nearly nonexistent, which makes everything harder for everybody.
The Mavs have work to do this summer if they want to compete in the West next season. Porzingis has been linked with trades around the league, but it’s unclear if Dallas is interested in shipping him or if rivals are willing to get such a big contract.