Forward/center Kristaps Porzingis is said to be frustrated with his role with the Mavericks and could find himself with a new team next season.
Per DallasBasketball, one of those teams could be the Pacers, with a deal centered on Porzingis and Indiana center Myles Turner starting to hit the rumor mill. The Pacers may also be making small forward T.J. Warren available, per Grant Afseth of DallasBasketball.
The Mavericks were eliminated from the first round of the playoffs by the Clippers in seven games. Afterward, Porzingis was asked how he fits into the team’s future.
“Good question,” he told reporters. “How do I feel? I mean, I’m good. I tried to put in the work, tried to work hard. I do my part, listen to the coaches, what I’m asked to do, and that’s it.”
ESPN’s Tim MacMahon cited sources in reporting that Porzingis has been frustrated with how superstar teammate Luka Doncic dominates the ball and the spotlight. That could potentially lead to a split of Porzingis and the Mavs.
“I try to keep it simple for myself, so I’m not overthinking, and I try to focus on what I can control,” Porzingis said. “That’s being a better basketball player, going into the offseason hungry. I want to get better physically [and] on the basketball court. I’m going to put that work in to get better, and then the rest of the stuff will resolve itself.”
Porzingis, 25, is owed just more than $101 million over the next three seasons. After suffering a torn meniscus in the 2020 playoffs, he appeared in just 43 of a possible 72 games this season, averaging 20.1 points and 8.9 rebounds.
But those averages dipped to 13.1 and 5.4, respectively, in the seven playoff games.
Per RealGM: “Porzingis frequently made thinly veiled references during his postgame media availabilities, such as saying the ‘ball actually moved tonight’ after high-scoring performances or stating that the offense didn’t involve him on low-scoring nights.”
So, what’s next for Porzingis and the Mavs? It could be business as usual — but it also has already turned into a story to watch.
“And whatever I do, it seems like it’s always something,” Porzingis said. “I just try to be as professional as I can.”