DALLAS — Kristaps Porzingis never could escape the shadow of injuries in Dallas after the blockbuster trade that brought the 7-foot-3 Latvian from New York.
Kristaps Porzingis trade
The Mavericks are moving on without the "Unicorn."
The deal was reached not long before the NBA trading deadline and ends the plan to pair Porzingis with fellow European and young star point guard Luka Doncic. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the trade hasn't been announced.
Porzingis has missed the past five games with a right knee injury and has been sidelined for 21 of 55 games this season because of various injuries and a positive COVID-19 test. Porzingis acknowledged he had been traded with a post on Instagram.
"Since day 1 the fans and the city of Dallas welcomed me with open arms and I will always be grateful for that," Porzingis wrote.
Doncic and Porzingis never established the bond the club hoped would develop when Dallas acquired Porzingis from the Knicks in a seven-player deal with the Knicks before the deadline in 2019.
At the time of the trade, Porzingis was still recovering from surgery for a torn ligament in his left knee not long after he was named an All-Star with the Knicks in 2018. His ability to move and score on the perimeter at his size led to superstar Kevin Durant calling Porzingis the "unicorn."
Porzingis kept pulling up lame in two-plus seasons with the Mavericks, who signed him to a $158 million, five-year max contract before he ever played a game for them.
Dallas decided not to play Porzingis the rest of the 2018-19 season after the trade even though he had recovered from the injury with the Knicks. The club hoped the extra time would lead to better health. It didn't.
The longest stretch of consecutive games for Porzingis with the Mavericks was 23, from early in his first season. After the third time he played in a back-to-back, Porzingis missed the next 10 games with a knee injury.
Porzingis never played more than 12 consecutive games the rest of his tenure with Dallas, with issues that included both knees, his back and an ankle along with the 26-year-old's COVID-19 absence.
Porzingis averaged 20 points and 8.8 rebounds in 134 games with Dallas. The seventh-year player has averaged 18.7 points, 7.8 rebounds and 1.9 blocks for his career.
While declining to comment on any trades, coach Jason Kidd said before Thursday night's game against the Los Angeles Clippers that Porzingis was inactive.
Before the trade, Porzingis appeared to be close to a return from his latest knee injury. The Wizards are on the fringe of the playoff race in the bunched-up Eastern Conference. Atlanta, an East finalist last season, holds the last play-in spot at 10th in the conference, followed by Washington and the Knicks.
Dinwiddie started all 44 games he played for the Wizards this season, averaging 12.6 points and 5.8 assists. Although his career 3-point shooting percentage is just 32%, Dinwiddie gives Dallas another scoring option in the backcourt with Tim Hardaway Jr. likely sidelined until the playoffs with a broken foot.
Bertans started his career with Dallas rival San Antonio in 2016-17 and was solid as a backup the past two seasons in Washington. But the 6-10 Latvian's playing time is way down this season, along with his scoring and rebounding averages.
After a significant calf strain ended his season in the playoffs against Philadelphia last season, Bertans has dealt with ankle and foot issues in 2021-22.
Dinwiddie is in the first year of a $54 million, three-year deal. Bertans has two fully guaranteed years remaining on an $80 million, five-year contract.
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