Mavericks big man Kristaps Porzingis missed five games earlier this season due to lower back stiffness, raising concerns that 2021/22 might be another injury-plagued year for the former Knick. However, in nine games since returning to the lineup, Porzingis has averaged 23.9 PPG and 8.9 RPG on .510/.377/.932 shooting.
Before putting up 30 points in a Tuesday win over the Clippers, Porzingis told Mark Medina of NBA.com that he’s not currently dealing with any health issues.
“I feel great,” Porzingis said. “My body is feeling the best that it’s felt in a long time.”
Prior to last season’s trade deadline, reports surfaced indicating that the Mavs had been gauging the potential market for Porzingis. Team owner Mark Cuban denied those rumors at the time and, speaking to Medina, continued to dispute that Dallas ever shopped the former lottery pick.
“That’s not true. Why would I do that at all?” Cuban said. “Trades like that, you always end up further behind. When you trade a superstar, you never get the best end of it.”
The Mavs’ owner added that Porzingis is playing at an All-Star level and is “doing more and more unicorn things” this season.
“I’ve always believed that KP hasn’t played his best basketball yet. Now you’re seeing why we didn’t trade him,” Cuban said. “He’s a great player. He’s a good dude. All of my experiences with him have been positive. So why would we do that? But that’s NBA Twitter and that’s Mavs Twitter. That’s what they do. They’re probably trying to trade Luka (Doncic) right now.”
Here are a few more items of interest from Medina’s feature on Porzingis:
- Porzingis didn’t share details on what sort of offseason workouts he completed, but said he spent the summer devoted to “a lot of physical work” and believes it’s paying off this season, per Medina. “I feel like my body has matured,” he said. “I feel strong on the court. It’s translating into my game.”
- Porzingis acknowledged that he didn’t always feel comfortable with his role under former Mavs head coach Rick Carlisle and said he has noticed a difference since Jason Kidd‘s arrival: “My teammates have been trusting me. The coaching staff is trusting me and putting me in my most comfortable situations.”
- There have been whispers in recent years that Porzingis and Doncic haven’t exactly built the strongest relationship, but KP says the Mavs’ two stars are “communicating more” this year and that he believes they can become one of the NBA’s best duos. “It’s all in the communication,” he said. “It’s as simple as that. Problems arise when you don’t communicate about things, and you don’t talk about it. So, we’re learning those things.”