After a midseason trade last season sent him from the New York Knicks to the Dallas Mavericks, Kristaps Porzingis has agreed to a five-year, $158 max deal to remain in Dallas, the team announced Sunday.
A restricted free agent, Porzingis had the option of signing the one-year $4.5 million qualifying offer remaining on his rookie deal that would allow him to reach unrestricted free agency earlier in his career and reportedly intended to do so when he was traded to Dallas.
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Porzingis hasn’t played since tearing his left ACL in February 2018. The Mavericks sent Dennis Smith, DeAndre Jordan, Wesley Matthews and two first-round draft picks to New York in a package for Porzingis in a high-risk, high-reward deal.
An athletic, 7-foot-3 center, Porzingis is a transcendent talent who can run the floor, shoot from distance and work in the post. Before his ACL injury, Porzingis averaged 22.7 points, 6.6 rebounds and 2.4 blocks while shooting 39.5 percent from 3-point range through 48 games of his third NBA season.
ACL tears are serious concerns for any player, but even more so for a player of Porzingis’ stature. Eyeing an opportunity to build a core around Porzingis and 20-year-old NBA Rookie of the Year Luka Doncic, the Mavericks determined that Porzingis was worth the risk.
Since the trade, a New York woman has accused Porzingis of raping her in his Manhattan apartment in 2018 after she says he “reneged” on a hush-money agreement. She reported the alleged attack to New York police in March.
Results of that investigation remain pending.
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