Last season the Dallas Mavericks finished the season 14th in the Western Conference with a 33-49 record. It was a season that saw the sixth All-time leading scorer in Dirk Nowitzki announce his retirement and rookie sensation Luka Doncic capture the Rookie of the Year award.
The Mavericks also revamped their roster by trading Dennis Smith Jr., DeAndre Jordan, Wesley Matthews, and two future first-round draft picks to the New York Knicks for Kristaps Porzingis, Courtney Lee, Tim Hardaway Jr., and Trey Burke on January 31, 2019.
In a separate deal, the Mavericks also moved Harrison Barnes to Sacramento in exchange for Justin Jackson and Zach Randolph. On February 7, 2019, The Athletic’s Shams Charania broke the news that Kings were finalizing a deal for Barnes, and shortly after, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski quickly followed him by revealing the details of the return package, which later included Justin Jackson and Zach Randolph.
Kristaps Porzingis did not play at all last season for the Mavericks, as he was recovering from an ACL injury that he suffered during the 2017-18 season against the Milwaukee Bucks. At Mavs media day, Porzingis shared with Mavs.com reporter Dwain Price, that he didn’t have any concerns after being sidelined for 19 months.
“Honestly, none at all. I feel great. In my mind, I always wanted to come back when I was 110 percent.
“I didn’t want to halfway do it – maybe I’m good, maybe I’m not so (good). So, I made sure I’m 100 percent healthy, and now I’m back,” Porzingis told Mavs.com reporter Dwain Price.
The Pairing of Doncic and Porzingis Mavs’ Fans Excited About the Future
“I am extremely excited about that. I have never played with a guy like Luka,” said Porzingis. “His vision on the court, passing ability, his ability score, and take attention off his teammates. That is something I haven’t really had a player like him. So, I am extremely excited and can wait for us to actually get some NBA minutes on the court. So, we can start creating that bond.”
“We can really mess up team defenses like that,” he said. “If they want to switch, he can attack the mismatch; or I can attack the mismatch. I think it could be a nightmare for the teams going forward. We just have to develop that chemistry on the floor.”
Former Heat Forward Rashard Lewis Was Surprised the Knicks Traded Porzingis
“They have a bright future. When they made that trade first thing I thought about was ‘what was New York thinking,’” Lewis told me.
“I know he [Porzingis] was coming off an ACL tear, but the upside for that guy is huge. He is still a young kid and a guy like Luka to be on his team who had a tremendous season. To be so young, he played like a veteran. Lets you know all they have to do is build up the role players around those guys, and they will have a successful team,” Lewis said.
ESPN NBA Analyst Mark Jackson Expects the Mavericks to Make the Playoffs This Season
“One dynamic duo I’m interested in is the Dallas one everyone else I expected to be in the playoffs. I expect the Dallas Mavericks to make the playoffs they have been subpar for quite a while, but those two guys [Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis] are special talents and they have a real chance of being in the playoffs. And who knows what happens once you get invited to the dance,” said Mark Jackson during Wednesday night’s broadcast in Los Angeles.
Dallas Mavericks assistant coach Darrell Armstrong thinks they are going to surprise a lot of people
“The vibe of the team has been very upbeat, and we are going to surprise a lot of people this season,” Armstrong told me. I can’t wait to see the combination of Luka and Kristaps in action this season.”
The Dallas Mavericks just finished up their preseason with a 2-3 on record and will be opening their season next Wednesday at home against the Washington Wizards.