Kristaps Porzingis might have pulled a Ben Simmons by now if not for one particular change that the Dallas Mavericks made.
ESPN’s Tim MacMahon said this week on “The Hoop Collective” podcast that Porzingis wanted to be traded at the end of last season but now feels like he has a fresh start with the hiring of new Mavs head coach Jason Kidd.
“At the end of last year, Porzingis wanted to be traded,” said MacMahon. “My understanding is he feels like he has a fresh start with the coaching change. He’s had the healthy offseason. He has been able to work, not just on his game, but on his body some more. That he’s kind of coming back with a refreshed feel.”
The former All-Star never really found his groove under ex-Mavs coach Rick Carlisle. While he did score over 20 points per game, Porzingis was shooting many of his attempts from beyond the arc rather than as a focal point of the offense. He also seemed particularly out of sorts during the Mavs’ first-round loss to the Clippers last season.
Though most of the offense will inevitably run through MVP candidate Luka Doncic, Porzingis seems to be betting that Kidd will do a better job of incorporating him into the game plan. The Mavs also sound like they remain committed to the 26-year-old Porzingis.