Dirk Nowitzki recently made his season debut last month ( December 14, 2018) against the Phoenix Suns. Dirk would finish the game with two points and a rebound in six minutes of play. Nowitzki made history by breaking Kobe Bryant’s record for most NBA seasons played with one team.
Dirk spent the majority of this past offseason recovering from an ankle that occurred last April. Since his return, Nowitzki has averaged 4.6 points, 1.4 rebounds, 0.2 assists, and 0.2 blocks per game this season. It is no secret that the Dallas Mavericks have been looking for the future Hall of Famer’s replacement for the at least the past four to five seasons.
This past summer the Mavericks struck a deal on draft night with the Atlanta Hawks that sent Trae Young and a protected first-round pick to Atlanta for former Euroleague MVP Luka Doncic. Doncic has been an excellent investment for the Mavericks this season averaging 19.5 points, 6.6 rebounds, five assists, 1.1 steals, and 0.3 blocks per game according to Basketball-reference.com. Doncic is the front-runner to win the Rookie of the Year Award this year and has already collected his second straight Western Conference Rookie of the Month Award.
This upcoming offseason the Mavericks just like the other 29 teams will be looking to make a splash in free agency and will be looking to use international sensation Luka Doncic as a marketing tool to lure elite talent to Dallas. Names such as Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, Klay Thompson, Kawhi Leonard, Jimmy Butler, DeMarcus Cousins, Kemba Walker, and Derrick Rose to name a few.
Someone who I think would be a perfect fit in Dallas is Knicks restricted free agent Kristaps Porzingis. Here is why Porzingis can stretch the floor as could Nowitzki in his prime at the power forward position. Porzingis is averaging 17.8 points, seven rebounds, and 1.3 assists when he is on the floor in uniform. Luka Doncic and Porzingis are familiar with each other games because they have both played against one another in the Euro-League.
If they can sign Porzingis, Harrison Barnes could return to playing his natural position at Small Forward with a starting line up that could look like this DeAndre Jordan, Kristaps Porzingis, Harrison Barnes, Dennis Smith Jr., and Luka Doncic. This would also give the Mavericks and Porzingis an opportunity to win now rather than later.
Also, the Mavericks have already established an audience in the European market because of the 21 seasons that Dirk has been in the city of Dallas, and now with Luka excellence play this season.
The only thing that might concern the Mavericks and any other team in the league besides the Knicks ability to match any offer would be Porzingis health. He has been injured during the first three seasons of his career since being drafted in 2015. It has been reported that he would re-sign with the Knicks if they were willing to offer him the Max, but if another team swoops in it might be difficult for them to bring him back. It just depends on what the incentives are within the contract the Knicks have to match.
There was a recent report by‘skeptical’ about the Knicks.
We will have to see how free agency pans out this summer, but if I were Donnie Nelson and Mark Cuban and the rest of the Mavericks’ organization I would focus on bringing in Porzingis.
The Mavericks are currently in the middle of a four-game road trip with their next opponent being the Boston Celtics. The game will take place on Friday, January 4th, 2019, at the TD Garden Arena in Boston.