NBA Rumor: Kristaps Porzingis Injury

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Rick Carlisle on Kristaps Porzingis: 'We'll hope for the best'

Dallas Mavericks center/power forward Kristaps Porzingis exited Thursday night’s 115-105 win over the Detroit Pistons because of soreness in his right knee. Porzingis, who had missed the previous three games because of a sprained left ankle, complained of the knee soreness midway through the third quarter. The visiting Mavericks announced at the beginning of the fourth quarter that he would not return. “We’ll hope for the best,” Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said, noting that Porzingis seemed to be walking fine after the game. “We’ll hope that it’s not any kind of a serious issue and go from there.”

Sources have told ESPN that the Mavs are optimistic that Porzingis will be able to participate in training camp, which will begin at an undetermined date due to the uncertainty of next season’s NBA schedule due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Porzingis suffered the injury during the Mavs’ Game 1 loss to the LA Clippers. He played in the next two games of the series before the stiffness and soreness in the knee forced him to be sidelined the remainder of the first-round series.

T.O. Souryal, the Mavericks’ former longtime team doctor, isn’t ready to decry the 25-year-old Porzingis’ durability, longevity or potential. Instead, Porzingis’ latest setback might be a product of the evolution of the center position and his touch-heavy, versatile fit in the Mavericks’ scheme. “Anytime you have a star player with multiple injuries, especially to both knees, it’s a little troubling,” Souryal said. “But he seems to have come back from his ACL stronger than ever, so that injury’s behind us now. Each one of these injuries should be taken on its own merit.”

The play of centers more often looks like that of guards, so it’s no coincidence, Souryal said, that their list of injuries — such as ankle sprains and knee ligament tears — can, too. “[Porzingis] plays more similar to a Luka than the traditional center, [who were] not so agile, not very quick, not very fast,” Souryal said. “Physics really comes into play now. You know, the velocity of the movement, it does make you susceptible to injury, and it’s not so much Kristaps. It’s anyone who moves that fast, plants that quick, jumps that rapidly.”
9 months ago via ESPN

With surgery possible after the repair of the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, Porzingis will face questions about his durability until the 7-foot-3 Latvian proves otherwise. “I can’t really be too worried about that,” he said. “Both of them were contact injuries. What I can do is just focus on the work that I can put it to make sure that I decrease the possibility of that happening. That means strengthening everything and trying to do all the preventative work I can. That’s in my hands. I can’t be too frustrated over these type of things.”

Even though the Mavericks aren’t publicly expressing this concern, at least not after a game in which Doncic registered 25 points, a career-high 17 assists and 15 rebounds, their fans certainly expressed alarm on social media — while Knicks fans unleashed a collective I-told-you-so. “We’ll see,” Carlisle said. “Hopefully he feels better tomorrow and we’ll just continue to move forward and hope he continues to feel better. He was doing real well on a day-to-day basis. It just didn’t feel quite right before the game. “So we’re not messing with it.”
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Cavs eyeing Alex Caruso, TJ McConnell?

Any potential free agency list should start with Indiana’s T.J. McConnell and Los Angeles pest Alex Caruso. Both are Cavs targets. Both fit really well. Some prefer Caruso. He’s younger, bigger, stronger and can guard multiple spots. Others like McConnell more. Even though he doesn’t shoot many 3s, he’s more polished, capable of filling in as starter, puts pressure on the rim and was the league’s total steals leader.
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The Cavs might also be looking for another center. Isaiah Hartenstein, who arrived in the JaVale McGee deal with Denver, has a player option. Sources expect him to exercise that and become a free agent. Hartenstein, who made the minimum this past season, likes it in Cleveland. But he boosted his value over the final few months and opting in would make him underpaid at $1.7 million. Hartenstein’s preference, according to sources, is to renegotiate a more lucrative long-term deal, staying with the Cavs as Allen’s backup.