The Dallas Mavericks were able to turn things around during the 2020-21 NBA season after a slow start. They locked down the No. 5 seed in the Western Conference, matching up with the LA Clippers in the first round of the playoffs.
That will be a daunting task for Dallas in the first round, as the Western Conference is as deep as ever. While the team will be preparing for that matchup with hopes of continuing play into the summer, there are already rumors floating around about what their plans will be this offseason.
According to Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report, the Mavericks are determined to find a center to pair with Kristaps Porzingis in the frontcourt.
“Dallas also seems keen to pursue frontcourt reinforcements this offseason. While the Mavericks did quietly gauge trade interest on Kristaps Porzingis before the trade deadline, they are more determined to find a center to pair with their All-Star big man, sources said. That big man could very well become Holmes, although the Mavericks are likely to pursue John Collins this summer as well.”
Dallas landed Porzingis in a trade with the New York Knicks in 2019 as he was recovering from ACL surgery. A trade that looked as lopsided as any at the time looks a little more even, as the Knicks had a great 2020-21 season and earned the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference.
A lot of the same issues that Porzinigs had in New York have carried over to Dallas. He cannot stay healthy, as he got injured in the Orlando Bubble last year and this year appeared in only 43 games.
A center will also save Porzingis from some wear and tear, as he won’t constantly be banging with bigger opponents in the paint.
Another issue is Porzingis’ inability to impact the game the same way while playing center as power forward. That is why Dallas is intent on adding a center to play alongside him in the frontcourt.
While Porzingis is a mismatch nightmare offensively given his ability to spread the court, his team’s defense craters when he plays center. He struggles moving on the perimeter, which has been hampered even further because of the lower body injuries he has suffered. Teams attack that relentlessly.
At power forward, Porzinigs can be hidden a little more defensively. He is a good rim protector, so if Dallas can add a frontcourt player that can cover for his shortcomings on the perimeter, their defense should be improved next season. Finding a center will certainly be something to watch in NBA rumors as the offseason approaches.