The Mavericks consider Kristaps Porzingis‘ recovery process “complete” as the team prepares to open camp, tweets Dwain Price of Mavs.com. Coach Rick Carlisle told reporters at Media Day that Porzingis is likely to play in one of the first two preseason games, either October 8 against the Thunder or October 9 against the Pistons, adds Eddie Sefko of Mavs.com (Twitter link).
Carlisle expects the organization to adopt a load management plan for Porzingis to help him get through the season, but the details haven’t been worked out, tweets Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News. It’s likely that he will sit out some back-to-back games, but that will be determined by how he responds to training camp.
Porzingis addressed the media today, saying that getting to the postseason will be a priority. “In our mind we have to make the playoffs,” he said. “That’s the goal for us.” Porzingis also discussed his pairing with Rookie of the Year Luka Doncic, declaring, “It could be a nightmare for (opponents) going forward.”
The 24-year-old appeared headed for stardom in New York before suffering an ACL injury midway through the 2017/18 season. He wound up in an escalating feud with the front office that resulted in a trade to Dallas eight months ago.
Porzingis hasn’t played in an NBA game since February of 2018, so no one is certain how long it will take him to return to his former level. He averaged 17.8 points and 7.1 rebounds during his time with the Knicks and had just earned his first All-Star nod before the injury.