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Kristaps Porzingis won't play for the Mavericks this season while continuing his recovery from a knee injury after Dallas acquired the 2018 All-Star in a blockbuster trade with the New York Knicks.

Porzingis has the option to play next season for a mere $4.5 million and become an unrestricted free agent in July 2020, but Dallas is already expressing confidence that it can get Porzingis's signature on a five-year, $158 million contract this summer.

"I feel great", Porzingis said, almost one year removed from reconstructive surgery.

Porzingis, 23, responded with a laugh.

Asked if that was true, Porzingis said, "Yes". One source told Stein the team asked "about a hundred times" whether or not he was on the table, and the Mavs weren't as anxious about Porzingis' injuries as other teams might have been.

The Porzingis brothers forced New York's hand, though, by telling the team Kristaps would leave for Spain to continue his rehab if he wasn't traded by the February 7 deadline. For that reason, I think the Mavs will look to make a move. The Mavs will really have to think about that as a possibility.

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As the Mavericks are now constructed, they will nearly certainly have at least one full season of Doncic and Porzingis playing together.

That was more than three years ago. The Mavs, however, are confident that Porzingis will play in Dallas for years to come. "Everything so far, all the conversations so far, have been very positive". Dallas gave up 2017 lottery pick Dennis Smith Jr.

You could nearly see it in Rick Carlisle's eyes. "That's obviously a lot of what this deal is all about".

Porzingis has strong pre-existing relationships with the 40-year-old Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavericks' rising Slovenian star Luka Doncic.

Does Porzingins plan to sign long term in Dallas? My leg is feeling great. "There's no rush. I've been patient this whole time, and I'm going to keep staying patient, which is one of the hardest things for me to do. We're going to make the right decision".

Porzingis said the plan all along was to sit out the season.