What do you guys see that makes Porzingis a perfect fit for Luka Doncic? Harrison: “The skill set that he brings matches with Luka, but I also think that the thing about Kristaps is … people put a lot on him in terms of the reason why their season ended but he was doing what he was told to do. He’s actually a team player and I think we’re just gonna put him in position to succeed.”
First Take: .@stephenasmith comments on the "noise" surrounding the Mavs. "Some people have accused [Kristaps Porzingis] of being jealous [of Luka Doncic]."
Tim MacMahon: Mavs president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson was asked about the Luka Doncic/Kristaps Porzingis dynamic. His answer: pic.twitter.com/kMXdX4SXfK
But Porzingis has been frustrated, often feeling more like an afterthought than a co-star as Doncic dominates the ball and the spotlight, sources told ESPN. Porzingis frequently made thinly veiled references during his postgame media availabilities, such as saying the "ball actually moved tonight" after high-scoring performances or stating that the offense didn't involve him on low-scoring nights. "It's just the plays we were running," Porzingis said after an April 7 loss to the last-place Houston Rockets when asked why he didn't get any shots in the fourth quarter despite scoring 23 points on 10-of-19 shooting in the game. After a pause, he added: "Happened before also."
The Mavericks are obviously Doncic's franchise. But one of the biggest questions for the Mavs moving forward is how Porzingis fits into the picture. "Good question," Porzingis said after Game 7, pausing to collect his thoughts. "How do I feel? I mean, I'm good. I tried to put in the work, tried to work hard. I do my part, listen to the coaches, what I'm asked to do, and that's it. "I try to keep it simple for myself, so I'm not overthinking, and I try to focus on what I can control. That's being a better basketball player, going into the offseason hungry. I want to get better physically [and] on the basketball court. I'm going to put that work in to get better, and then the rest of the stuff will resolve itself."
After Game 7, Porzingis called it a "mental battle" to play a role that wasn't comfortable for him. He said he tried to channel the focus from his rookie year on playing hard and doing little things to help his team. "And whatever I do, it seems like it's always something," Porzingis said, acknowledging the scrutiny on him. "I just try to be as professional as I can."
Perhaps that’s a natural reaction when Porzingis became subject to trade rumors, ones which made his status clear as a second-tier star next to Doncic. (Talent-wise, that obviously is correct; it still isn’t enjoyable for it to be publicly projected into the universe.) Many team, player and league sources, whenever asked, have consistently told The Athletic there is no unknown “incident” between the two players, no flash point to spark a change in their dynamic.
In an email to The Athletic, Cuban clarified that his “dust-ups” comment referred to “a guy thinks a pass should come his way and it doesn’t (or) coach runs a play for the guy.” He added, “No more dust-up.” In a Spanish-language interview after Cuban’s comments, Porzingis said, “I’ve never had any problems with my teammates off the court, I’ve always gotten along very well with them. I don’t know what Cuban was talking about. I try to be as professional as possible.”
Many team, player and league sources, whenever asked, have consistently told The Athletic there is no unknown “incident” between the two players, no flash point to spark a change in their dynamic. In an email to The Athletic, Cuban clarified that his “dust-ups” comment referred to “a guy thinks a pass should come his way and it doesn’t (or) coach runs a play for the guy.” He added, “No more dust-up.” In a Spanish-language interview after Cuban’s comments, Porzingis said, “I’ve never had any problems with my teammates off the court, I’ve always gotten along very well with them. I don’t know what Cuban was talking about. I try to be as professional as possible.”
Dallas still plays its best offensive basketball with Doncic and Porzingis paired together; lineups featuring that duo averaged 118.2 points per 100 possessions this season, better than any other two-man duo Doncic was part of. One notable problem has been Porzingis’ inability to remain efficient without Doncic alongside him. His True Shooting craters to under 50 percent, and the team’s offense sinks more than five points per 100 possessions beneath its season average. This resonates with a player who functions as an elite floor-spacer but isn’t as effective creating his own shot. But in the postseason, Dallas will maximize the minutes those two play together — and how many minutes they each play generally.
Porzingis has spoken openly on several occasions about needing time to get comfortable in a new system, particularly when he was getting a large share of his shots as a spot-up shooter from 3-point range. The Mavs' offense has evolved to mix in more midrange opportunities for Porzingis, an element of his game that he values but wasn't analytics-friendly earlier this season. "Luka's done a great job communicating to me [about] where I wanna get the ball," Porzingis said. "He's also getting used to playing with me and he's really starting to find me in those spots where I'm comfortable, that midrange area. And slowly these things are starting to click. I think as we keep working, playing together, it's going to get better and better and better."
September 21, 2021 | 9:51 am EDT Update
J.J. Redick announced his retirement from basketball on his The Old Man and the Three show. Redick played in the NBA for 15 seasons. Redick spent the first six-and-a-half years of his career with the Orlando Magic. He was traded to the Milwaukee Bucks during the 2012-13 season. Redick then played the next four years with the LA Clippers, before moving on to the Philadelphia 76ers for two seasons. Redick then signed with the New Orleans Pelicans in 2019. He was traded to the Dallas Mavericks at the 2021 trade deadline.
After extending Luka Doncic and re-signing Tim Hardaway Jr. to long-term deals, the Mavericks are set to be over the cap over the next few years. They could look to lock up other core players and establish more tradeable salaries. Jalen Brunson and Dorian-Finney Smith are eligible for extensions worth up to $55.6 million over four years. Maxi Kleber and Dwight Powell are also eligible for extensions that can up to three more years.
Andre Iguodala: “I mean, if I’m the coach, I’m going to Steph. You know, that’s common sense. I got that. I got common sense, so yeah, I’m going with Steph just because of his body of work, like the dude different. But I understand I’ve had great moments because Steph is so good. He getting all the attention and they leaving me open, I made an open shot and he just made the right play.”
The addition of Sidney Lowe isn’t the only change the Cleveland Cavaliers have made to the coaching staff this offseason. Sources tell cleveland.com that assistant Dan Geriot is now head coach of the G League affiliate Cleveland Charge while Nate Reinking has been elevated to the Cavaliers’ coaching staff.
Even though Geriot is now in the G League, getting an opportunity to run a team for the first time while learning day-to-day head-coaching responsibilities, he will still work closely with the Cavs. On July 26, the G league affiliate was officially announced as the Cleveland Charge — and they will work out of the Cleveland Clinic Courts practice facility while playing home games at Cleveland State’s Wolstein Center. Following the abbreviated 2020-21 season where the Charge played in the Orlando G League bubble due to COVID-19 protocols, the Cavaliers chose not to renew their lease with the Canton Memorial Civic Center, relocating the Charge downtown.
Arash Markazi: The Lakers gave No. 18 jerseys to Bibigo executives after announcing a five-year jersey patch sponsorship for over $100 million for the 18th championship the Lakers hope to win in the first year of the deal.
Michael Jordan is taking an advisory role with Sportradar and increasing his investment in the newly public sports data company. The NBA legend and Charlotte Hornets owner will become a special adviser to the Sportradar board of directors, according to a release from the company. He will also increase his equity in the company, which he has held since 2015. Though financial details weren’t released, Jordan had less than 5% of the company, per SEC filings from earlier this month.