3 Most Likely Kristaps Porzingis Trade Destinations
It seemed like it was only yesterday that the Dallas Mavericks were up 3-2 in their first-round series against the Los Angeles Clippers. However, a couple of impressive performances by Kawhi Leonard helped the Clippers battle back and eventually eliminate the Mavericks from the NBA Playoffs. One Dallas player who was invisible for most of the series and could've been a difference-maker was Kristaps Porzingis.
Porzingis averaged just 13.1 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game in the series — a far cry from the 20.1/8.9/1.6 he averaged in the regular season. Following the Mavericks' elimination, ESPN reported that Porzingis is frustrated with the fact that Luka Doncic dominates most of the offensive touches. Now, there's a real chance that the one-time All-Star could be traded this offseason.
Here's a look at the three most like destinations for Porzingis this offseason.
Kristaps Porzingis Trade Rumors
1. Toronto Raptors
After years of being one of the better teams in the Eastern Conference, the Toronto Raptors took a step back this year and missed the playoffs with a 27-45 record. One of the reasons why they faired so poorly is because Serge Ibaka and Marc Gasol left during the previous offseason, causing their rebounding numbers to take a hit. Toronto ended the season averaging just 49.3 rebounds per game, which was near the bottom of the league (28th). Trading for Porzingis would give them a legitimate starting center who's averaged 9.2 rebounds per game with Dallas. He can also shoot 3-pointers better than most centers (36.1 career percentage), which would give the Raptors another option on offense.
2. Charlotte Hornets
Another team that could use a new starting center happens to be the Charlotte Hornets. They went 33-39 last season and almost qualified for the playoffs. If they want to take another step next season, they're going to need better centers than Cody Zeller and Bismack Biyombo. The Hornets have enough scoring options where Porzingis wouldn't have to be the No. 2 in their offense with LaMelo Ball, Gordon Hayward and Terry Rozier running around. However, his presence alone would improve Charlotte's starting lineup to the point where the playoffs should be a real possibility next season.
3. Portland Trail Blazers
After coming up short in the playoffs again, it's clear that the Portland Trail Blazers need to switch things up over the offseason. One way to do that is to bring Porzingis in to play with Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum (if he doesn't get traded). Porzingis would fit well in the Trail Blazers' offense, mainly because of his shooting abilities. Portland ran with Jusuf Nurkic and Enes Kanter as their centers this season, with neither man being able to shoot as well as Porzingis. Playing with Lillard and McCollum would take the pressure off of his shoulders while giving them a third option to look for whenever they're pressured by opposing defenses. If Porzingis can stay healthy, there's no reason why the Trail Blazers can't be contenders in the West next season.
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