Should The Raptors Go After Kristaps Porzingis? Thanks, But No Thanks

The Dallas Mavericks might be willing to part ways with Kristaps Porzingis this season, but that doesn't mean he's a good fit for the Toronto Raptors
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The Dallas Mavericks are reportedly gauging interest around the league on 7-foot-3 centre Kristaps Porzingis, league sources tell Bleacher Report's Jake Fischer.

A few years ago, Porzingis would have commanded a blockbuster offer. Heck, he did command a blockbuster deal in 2019 when the Mavericks sent three first-round picks to the New York Knicks for the so-called unicorn. But two injury-plagued seasons and a lack of development has taken the shine off of the once can't miss prospect.

It's true, the Toronto Raptors are in need of a centre. They've climbed out of a 2-8 start and now sit at 16-15 without much help from the centre spot this season and if the Raptors are going to be buyers at next month's trade deadline it will almost certainly be a centre they look to bring in. But Porzingis isn't that guy.

For one, the Raptors and head coach Nick Nurse have always prioritized defence and Porzingis doesn't fit that mould. From an on-off perspective, the Mavericks' Defensive Rating is 11.8 points worse when Porzingis is on the court. Digging a little deeper into some advanced analytics, Porzingis is the second-worst defensive centre in the league according to Bball-Index's LEBRON statistic and he's the worst defensive big according to FiveThirtyEight's RAPTOR statistic.

Then there's his contract. He's due $101 million over the next three seasons, assuming he opts-in to the final year of his deal. While the Raptors have the flexibility and long-term cap space to make a deal like that, locking up that much money in a defensively questionable, injury-plagued player like Porzingis doesn't seem like a very likely thing for this Raptors front office to do.

While it might not take much for Toronto to pull off a deal from an assets point of view, Porzingis isn't the solution to the Raptors centre questions. 

Further Reading

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Former assistant Chris Finch left his mark on the Toronto Raptors this season