The Mavs' star Kristaps Porzingis underwent surgery to repair a meniscus tear in his right knee. With Jan. 18 being NBA's latest target date, the organization is optimistic they'll have KP back for training camp. But given his injury history, should they be concerned for his health long-term wise?
Of course, they should be concerned. This is two knees operations that he's had. Some guys get meniscus injuries, get surgery, and then they are fine, they never show any setback in their career. Other guys, it creates problems down the line and considering he's a big man, it's worrisome.
Brian Windhorst, The Jump
Porzingis sat out a season and a half after tearing the ACL in his left knee in February '18, in what turned out to be his final game with the Knicks. Kristaps had a comeback campaign in 19/20 NBA season, starting in all of 57 games he had played in, but his postseason run against the Clippers was cut short due to another lower-body injury.
One in five NBA players never return to play another NBA game after a meniscus tear. Those who do come back usually pick up where they left off. So the tear, in and of itself, shouldn't keep KP off the court for a huge chunk of time. But when you combine it with his ACL surgery, alarm bells are starting to ring in Dallas. Not only for an obvious reason for this potentially being a roadblock to the development of Luka Dončić and Porzingis - NBA's most promising one-two punch, but KP's injury may also jeopardize Dallas' long term plan, which, if realized, would reshake the NBA landscape.
The Dallas Mavericks are going to be at the head of the line in pursuing Giannis. They want to have a third star. They want to keep their books clear for 2021, I wouldn’t expect them to add any major free agents this year. They’re going to wait.
Brian Windhorst, Sports Illustrated
Two prerequisites need to be met for Giannis to Dallas to be a realistic scenario. And while the financial one looks like it'll be taken care of, the other one - the Porzingis dependent one - potentially just got a lot more complicated. Because the big factor for Giannis, or any free agent that's looking at the Mavs as their potential free agency destination, will be that third star. In this scenario, KP is that third star, and him being healthy and playing at the peak of his powers is a necessity for Dallas to maximize their chance of landing the NBA's two-time MVP.
So looking at the bigger picture, this is huge for the Mavs, and they should be worried. A lot is at stake here. They wouldn't want one of their franchise cornerstone to fall off a cliff, because, well, he's the franchise's cornerstone. But he's also the precondition for Dallas' run at Giannis next summer. So he better prove he can be healthy. He's extremely talented and we love to watch him and Luka play together. But we would also love to see two of them on the same team with Giannis. And for the Mavs to have any chance of pulling that off, KP has to prove he can stay healthy.