The Mavericks kicked off free agency on Sunday night by locking up the second half of their new dynamic duo. Kristaps Porzingis agreed to his max five year/$158 million contract to remain in Dallas and try to build something special with the 2018-2019 Rookie of the Year in Luka Doncic.
Mavs-Porzingis deal is official: He gets a five-year, franchise-record $158 million contract.
— Brad Townsend (@townbrad) June 30, 2019
This was the final step of the trade in late January between Dallas and the New York Knicks where DeAndre Jordan, Wesley Matthews, Dennis Smith, Jr. and two future first round picks went to the Big Apple and Tim Hardaway Jr, Courtney Lee and Trey Burke came along with Porzingis. The salaries of Hardaway Jr. and Lee going beyond the 2018-2019 season were the steep prices to pay in acquiring a talent with as much superstar potential as Porzingis, but with Doncic arriving on the NBA scene like an unstoppable force in his rookie season, the Mavericks saw an opening to acquire a type of player that doesn’t become available every day and did what they had to do to get him.
Even though he play a single game in a Dallas uniform, Porzingis has still made plenty of waves in his five months as a Maverick. He still has a pending investigation regarding a rape allegation against him. He was “jumped” outside of a nightclub in his native Latvia back in May with a sizable gash leaving a scar on his forehead and a potential hand injury that has been kept very quiet.
Nonetheless, the Mavericks had no choice but to give the soon-to-be 24-year-old this max deal after paying such a hefty price for him back in February. It’s not like they’re upset they have to do it, all reports seem to indicate that everything will be fine on the legal front. It is just a considerable risk to give out the largest deal in franchise history to a player coming off an ACL injury that has kept him off the court during a regular season game since February of 2018.
The payoff should be oh so sweet for Dallas if he plays to his potential.
Risks aside, the Mavericks haven’t acquired a player with this level of superstar potential, besides Luka Doncic, probably since Dirk Nowitzki. Having a pair with the skills and flash of Doncic and Porzingis is going to be a treat for Mavericks fans to watch for years to come. Despite the seeming disappointment of Sunday night’s free agency news and lack of activity, there is still much to be excited about for basketball fans in Dallas.
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