When the Dallas Mavericks traded for Kristaps Porzingis and paired him up with Luka Dončić, it created one of the better younger duos in the NBA. Considering their similarity, both being very skillful players from Europe, playing in Spain, and similar age, they were expected to click instantly. Still, as it looks, that hasn't been the case.
A few weeks ago, Mavs owner Mark Cuban spoke about the relationship between his two stars and gave some interesting insight into the situation, while giving an example of a similar situation the Mavericks already endured.
"On the court they are fine. That's not to say their aren't dust-ups, because there are... I'd compare it to Jet and Dirk. They weren't best friends at the beginning, but they grew to like each other and grew to be great friends and that's just part of the process when you've got young kids who are growing up. It took forever before Dirk and Jet did anything off the court together. A long time."
Mark Cuban, via 105.3 The Fan visit on "K&C Masterpiece
Dončić and Porzingis haven't gotten the chance to spend too much time on the court together due to KP dealing with constant injuries, but they looked pretty good when they were playing together. But there is a feeling they can be a lot better, as that next step has been in standby mode because of them not really liking each other off the court.
Neither of them addressed those rumors until recently, as Porzingis stated his opinion on the dust-up situation between him and Dončić, giving Mavs fans some relief:
"I've never had any problems with my teammates off the court, I've always gotten along very well with them. I don't know what Cuban was talking about. I try to be as professional as possible, do what I have to do and be a soldier for the team,"
Kristaps Porzingis, via Marca
It seems the situation between the two Mavs stars isn't bad as it looked to be. Arguments, disagreements, and clashes are a pretty regular occurrence between teammates, especially two stars who consider themselves the alphas of the team. But with time and work, that becomes a motivating factor and a chance to make each other better and build chemistry.
Luka and Porzingis are still very young and relatively freshly new teammates, as they can be a dangerous tandem to the rest of the league for some time if they manage to click with each other on all the levels. Dončić has established himself as one the best players in the NBA, but he will need Porzingis healthy and ready if they want to make a playoff push this season. So we will have to wait and see if the two European studs can make it work.