Not only did Dallas not get any help for Luka Doncic, they traded away two first-round picks.Image: Getty Images
The Mavericks’ Kristaps Porziņģis acquisition and subsequent trade has been one of the most embarrassing and impactful mistakes of modern NBA history. Especially when it comes to surrounding their young superstar, Luka Dončić, with a contending roster.
Now that the smoke has cleared, the Mavs essentially traded an unprotected first, a protected first, and a second-round pick for the broken body and spirit of Spencer Dinwiddie and Davis Bertans, owners of the absolute worst contracts in the NBA. Porziņģis never played at the level he did with the New York Knicks. He was mostly pouty, injured, and declining. The Mavs front office and fanbase made up every excuse in the book for the 7-footer, citing his ability to block shots as the anchor of the Mavs improving defense. Blocking shots is just one aspect of defense. It was Porziņģis’ one-on-one game that was conveniently ignored. After tearing his ACL and suffering recurring injuries, he couldn’t guard anyone anymore. He was usually there for the weak side block because he had either lost his man or chosen to rotate and hover around the basket, waiting for a stat.
The organizational ineptitude and mismanagement of Porziņģis span two general managers, former Mavs GM Donnie Nelson and current GM Nico Harrison, who probably wishes he stayed in his cushy Nike gig.
Mavs fans had high hopes for Harrison. There was optimism he wouldn’t squander assets like his predecessor. That he wouldn’t continue the two-decades-old trend of trading assets for goofy European role players, no one else wants. Enter Davis Bertans.
Bertans has been brutally below-average at every facet of basketball, save for perimeter shooting. His 43 percent from 3, and 15.4 ppg during the 2019-2020 season earned him an absurd five-year, $80 million deal with the Washington Wizards. This season he’s averaged 5.7 ppg while shooting 31.9 percent from 3-point range. There are guys in the stands who can put up better numbers who aren’t getting paid an insane contract. It…