Mavericks big man Kristaps Porzingis, who underwent surgery last month to repair the meniscus in his right knee, won’t be ready for the start of the 2020/21 season, president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson said today during an appearance on 105.3 The Fan in Dallas.
“We’re going to make sure that that’s 100 percent before we put him out there, so that’s going to be into the season before we are able to have him join us,” Nelson said, per Tim MacMahon of ESPN.
Nelson told ESPN that the Mavs are targeting January 1 as the date when Porzingis would be cleared to begin on-court activities. The 25-year-old will need some time to get up to speed after resuming basketball activities, so he may end up missing the first few weeks of the shortened season.
Porzingis suffered his knee injury in Game 1 of this year’s playoffs against the Clippers, though he was able to play two more games after that and the team didn’t announce the diagnosis of a torn meniscus until after Game 5.
Health problems have been an issue for Porzingis throughout his NBA career — he has missed double-digit games in each of his five professional seasons and was sidelined for the entire 2018/19 season due to a torn ACL. When he has been on the court, Porzingis has been a standout contributor for the Knicks and Mavs. In his first full season in Dallas in 2019/20, he averaged 20.4 PPG, 9.5 RPG, and 2.0 BPG in 57 games (31.8 MPG).
Meanwhile, Nelson also addressed the health of Dallas’ other recovering big man during today’s radio appearance, telling 105.3 The Fan that Dwight Powell is expected to be able to participate at least in a limited capacity when training camp begins, as MacMahon relays.
“We’re not going to rush, we’re going to do it the right way, but we’re pretty optimistic that he’ll be able to join us out of the gates,” Nelson said of Powell, who is returning from a torn Achilles.