The Dallas Mavericks have been among the NBA's most disappointing teams this season, and they might be looking to shake things up with the NBA trade deadline a month away.
The Mavericks (14-15) reached out to the Warriors to "gauge" Golden State's interest in Kristaps Porzingis, SNY's Ian Begley reported Tuesday, citing sources.
Dallas acquired Porzingis in a 2019 trade with the New York Knicks, hoping the pairing of Porzingis and Luka Doncic would propel them to the top of the Western Conference. But the 25-year-old Porzingis has had a rocky time in Dallas, with injuries and inconsistent production putting a dark cloud over his tenure.
While Porzingis still is an effective player offensively, it's his defensive decline that likely has the Mavericks looking to move on. So far this season, when Porzingis is on the court, the Mavericks are allowing 119.5 points per 100 possessions. That number would be two points worse than the Kings, who rank 30th in the NBA. When Porzingis is on the bench, the Mavs are allowing 108.7 points per 100 possessions, which would be good enough for a top-five mark in the NBA.
There's no doubt the Mavericks will have a hard time moving Porzingis, who is in the second year of a five-year, $158.2 million contract.
That salary number, which has him making $29.4 million per season, would have him difficult for the Warriors to acquire if they wanted to. Golden State is over the luxury tax threshold so the Warriors can't acquire salaries that are more than 125 percent plus $100,000 of what they are sending out.
In short, that means that if the Warriors wanted to deal for Porzingis, they would have to include both Kelly Oubre Jr. ($14.3 million) and one of Andrew Wiggins or Draymond Green while taking back a player like Josh Richardson (to make the money work for Dallas), or trade Oubre, Kevon Looney and James Wiseman for Porzingis, which is something the Warriors wouldn't be interested in. A straight-up Wiggins and a pick for Porzingis offer would also work, but, once again, the Warriors would have no reason to do that.
This season, Porzingis is averaging 20.5 points and 8.2 rebounds a game while shooting 47.3 percent from the field and 35.2 percent from 3-point range. But the 7-foot-3 big man's defense has been an issue. Perhaps he will get his quickness back as his knee continues to get back to full strength, but as of right now, the Mavericks are a much worse team defensively with him on the court.
The Warriors (16-15) are entering a critical point of their season as they look to string together wins and leap firmly into the Western Conference playoff picture. But don't expect Porzingis to pack his bags for the Bay. Both the contract and on-court fit don't match what the Warriors are looking for as the March 25 trade deadline nears.