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Mavs Trade Kristaps Porzingis Because 'The Unicorn' Never Worked (Almost Literally)

So in the end, the "Unicorn'' wasn't real. The plan never came to fruition. And the good idea never worked ... because Kristaps Porzingis too rarely worked.
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DALLAS - Not every good idea works.

Exhibit A: Kristaps "Unicorn'' Porzingis, who "didn't work'' in the literal sense.

The Dallas Mavericks made their first move ahead of the Thursday NBA trade deadline and it involves Porzingis, who has missed the team's last five games due to knee soreness and who over the course of this season has played about 60 percent of the games, a continuation of the "unavailability'' problem that plagued him when he was with the New York Knicks ... and after his blockbuster trade to Dallas continued to plague him.

And plague the Mavs.

And plague Mavs fans.


The Mavericks are trading Porzingis and a second-round pick to the Washington Wizards in exchange for Spencer Dinwiddie and Davis Bertans. Fat salaries are being moved here, and no, we're not just talking about the KP bloat. And injury issues are being moved here, too, and no, we're not just talking about the KP limp.

You don't like KP's $35 million APY contract? Well, you're not going to like Bertans' $17 million APY contract, either. The 6-10 Latvian, 29, is on a five-year, $80 million contract with averages of 5.7 points and 1.8 rebounds in 14.7 minutes per game.

No, that's probably not going to shove the Dallas playoff-o-meter in the right direction.

You don't like Porzingis' injury woes? Well, you're probably not going to like the fact that the 6-5 Dinwiddie, 28, is coming off a torn ACL injury that he suffered last season and is having a down-year with averages of 12.6 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 5.8 assists with what we've politely termed "underwhelming scoring efficiency.''

Can that help the Dallas playoff-o-meter? You have the right to be skeptical.

Both teams are moving unfavorable salaries and guys with ailments and guys who never quite fit in their most recent homes. Dinwiddie, DBcom has suggested, was "incompatible with Bradley Beal after being the Wizards' marquee free agency addition.''

And the 7-3 "Unicorn'' Porzingis? Under new coach Jason Kidd, the "rivalry'' with teammate Luka Doncic seemed to have subsided. And the numbers? Hey, 19 points and eight rebounds per is fine. 

But playing 134 out of his 209 games as a Mav ... isn't.

Bertans and Dinwiddie deserve their shot here, of course. And Dallas deserves a shot to get off of these contracts, easier to do than getting off KP's. And amid the buyout rumors surrounding Goran Dragic, we ought to wait on that, too.

But there is no denying ...

The Mavericks held high hopes for Porzingis as a co-star alongside Luka Doncic when they sent Dennis Smith Jr., DeAndre Jordan, Wesley Matthews, and two first-round picks to the New York Knicks to acquire him in part of that Feb. 1, 2019 deal.

Tim Hardaway Jr. (now out for the year with a foot ailment) is the final remaining part of the trade the Mavericks completed to acquire Porzingis from the Knicks. New York still holds the 2023 first-round pick Dallas had sent in the deal. 

So in the end, the "Unicorn'' wasn't real. The plan never came to fruition. And the good idea never worked ... because Kristaps Porzingis too rarely worked.