One of the most unique players in the entire NBA, Kristaps Porzingis has the intangibles to take the Dallas Mavericks to the next level. While he had a poor showing in the recent postseason, the 7-footer is still considered one of the better forwards in the NBA.
Over the past week, ESPN and Sports Illustrated released their top 100 players in the NBA. Last season, Porzingis was ranked as the No. 41 and No. 40 best player in the league respectively on these two lists.
While he fell a bit after the struggles of last season, he’s still pinned as a top-60 player in the NBA. ESPN ranked Porzingis as the No. 50 player in the league for the upcoming season while Sports Illustrated listed him at No. 58.
While being considered a top-60 player in the NBA is great, Porzingis has the potential to be even better in the upcoming season. He’s the clear second-best player on the Mavericks and a legitimate co-star for Luka Doncic.
Porzingis is the third-tallest player in the entire NBA behind Cleveland’s Tacko Fall and Dallas teammate Boban Marjanovic. At 7-foot-3, he’s truly one of the most unique players in the league in terms of the skillset he has with his size.
Even in the modern NBA where bigs are able to knock down shots from all over the floor, very few 7-footers have the shooting ability of Porzingis. Among players that are at least seven feet tall, he was the third most accurate 3-point shooter at 37.6% in the regular season.
Additionally, among 7-footers in the NBA, Porzingis finished the regular season at second in points, fourth in rebounds, fifth in assists and sixth in blocks per game.
The tallest player on the floor at nearly all times, Porzingis is extremely productive for his size which is one of the reasons he’s considered a top-60 NBA player. This is something he’ll continue to use to his advantage in the 2021-22 season.
Porzingis had a spectacular regular season when healthy, but failed to perform when the spotlight was on him in the postseason. With that in mind, he’s got the opportunity to have a bounce-back season and only improve on his ranking within these lists for next season.
Again, Porzingis has all of the physical tools to be one of the best players in the league. In fact, he was an NBA All-Star in just his third season back in 2018.
Where Porzingis struggled most during the regular season was on defense. His defensive rating of 115.3 was the worst of anyone on the team after posting a rating of 109.3 the season prior.
On the flip side, his biggest issues in the playoffs were offense and rebounding. After averaging 20.1 points and 8.9 rebounds per game in the regular season, Porzingis produced just 13.1 points and 5.4 rebounds per contest in the postseason.
Additionally, his 3-point shooting efficiency dropped from 37.6% in the regular season to 29.6% in the postseason.
There’s nowhere to go but up for Porzingis in the upcoming season, where he’ll have every opportunity to redeem himself.