Nash and Dirk 2.0?
With the NBA trade deadline approaching us, we have seen our first blockbuster trade. The Knicks have traded the Latvian 7’3” unicorn, Kristaps Porzingis to the Mavericks for Dennis Smith Jr. and Deandre Jordan (there were other pieces involved but they are less important). This trade comes after a season-long dispute about whether DSJ was a good fit next to Luka Doncic, and recent rumors about whether Porzingis was content with being on the Knicks. Personally, I would not have made this trade if I were the Mavs owner but I will go into that deeper a little later. Now that this trade has taken place, it is time to look into the future. Today, I am going to focus solely on the Mavericks because let’s be honest, this trade is way more important to them. The Mavs are hoping that this new duo of Doncic and Porzinigis can be Nash and Dirk 2.0. They are hoping that this duo can bring home a championship, which is something that Nash and Dirk could never do. The issue is, if this plan doesn’t work out the way that they expect, it will be a long time before they are able to pair the promising young talent of Doncic with anyone good enough to help them get over the hump.
I know the Mavs have great expectations for these two, but I have my doubts. My doubts aren’t in Luka’s game or even Porzingis’ game. I think they compliment each other very well. Their pick and roll offense is going to be so lethal. Both of them can shoot. Both can get to the basket. Luka has great court vision. Porzingis can face up and use his height to win matchups. These two are going to be great! Well, they will be great it Porzingis can stay healthy. Yes, guys that is my only concern. Porzingis is a great offensive talent, and before he got injured last season he was making strides on the defensive side of the ball. But this man CANNOT STAY HEALTHY!!! He is yet to play a full season. He played 72 his rookie season, 66 his second season, 48 games last season, and he hasn’t stepped on the court at all this season. Up to this point in his career, he has played in fewer and fewer games every season. That is why I wouldn’t have made this trade. If I were the GM of the Mavs, Porzingis would have stayed in New York.
To be completely honest, it isn’t only about the injuries. It’s more about the money they are about to give to Porzingis. In order for the Mavs to get Porzingis to sign long-term, they’ll likely need to offer him a max contract, or close to it. And in my opinion, he is not worth it. He has the potential to be a max contract type of player, he is just not there quite yet. He gets injured too often and his stats are not outrageous for the time that he is on the court. Porzingis is only averaging 18 points and 7 rebounds a game. As a 7’3” center, 7 rebounds per game is not acceptable. On top of that, he needs to get more physical when he plays. Porzingis gets pushed around on a regular basis, which makes sense because he is very thin. I do believe that once
he begins to gain more muscle, he will be able to take full advantage of his offensive game and bully people for rebounds. I know this may seem like I hate Porzingis, but I don’t. Porzingis has A LOT of talent and has the potential to be great in this league. However, history is not on his side for players his height. The average height for an NBA center is around 6’10”. Porzingis is 5 inches taller than the average center and but weighs about the same as the average power forward. Players built like him are typically injury prone. Only 25 players in NBA history have been 7’3” or taller, and only 7 of those players are household names. Only 2 of those seven players played longer than 10 seasons in the NBA. With exception of those two, each of those players were either injury prone or too clumsy to make it. If we go strictly by the numbers, that means Porzingis has an eight percent chance to play more than ten seasons. I know. I know. Everyone is different and each one of these players is independent of one another, but you cannot argue with history.
I guess my point in all of this is: I would not have gone through with this trade because it is too risky. Also, do I think they will be the next Nash and Dirk? No, and that’s honestly laughable. In my opinion, Nash is a top five point guard (bias because I loved Nash’s game) and Dirk is a first ballot Hall of Famer. It is extremely premature to compare the two duos, considering Luka and Porzingis have never played together before. Also, Porzingis isn’t the offensive threat nor the leader that Dirk has been, and Luka doesn’t have the basketball IQ that Nash had from the very beginning of his career ( yes, I’m aware Nash’s started out slow). I just cannot see these two becoming the players that Nash and Dirk were. I’m sorry if you don’t agree, that’s just how I feel. If you disagree, comment below and let’s hash this out.
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