Kristaps Porzingis will sit out the start of the season as the Dallas Mavericks center and power forward recuperates from surgery to repair the torn meniscus in his right knee. The NBA is set to start its 2020-2021 season on December 22 with a reduced 72-game schedule.
The Dallas Mavericks’ president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson stated that the organization was being cautious with the 25-year-old Latvian star. Nelson said that Porzingis will likely see action in early January.
“He’s going to be into the season,” Nelson added. “We’re very, very particular about bringing him back at the right time. It’s not going to be a rush. We’ve got long-term vision when it comes to his rehab.”
Keeping Porzingis in tip-top shape for the 2021 playoffs is the Mavericks’ main goal for this season. He’s expected to be rested regularly and sit one-half of back-to-back games during the regular season. Dallas is relying on its main man, Luka Dončić, to lead the Mavericks to the playoffs. The franchise hopes to have a fully recovered Porzingis by that time.
The 7 ft 3 in (2.21 m) Porzingis injured his right knee during Game 1 of the Mavericks’ first-round playoff series against the Los Angeles Clippers in mid-August. Porzingis played the next two games with the injury which may have aggravated it. He missed the rest of the series where the Mavericks were eliminated in six games. Porzingis underwent surgery in early October.
Health issues have hounded Porzingis throughout his NBA career. He has had two knee surgeries since his 2015 entry to the NBA, missed double-digit games in each of his five seasons in the NBA, and sat out the entire 2018-2019 season because of a torn ACL in his left knee.
The Mavericks acquired Porzingis from the New York Knicks in a multi-player deal in 2019. He signed a $158 million, five-year max contract in July of the same year. In his first season with Dallas in 2019-2020, Porzingis averaged 20.4 points, 9.5 rebounds, and 2 blocks in 57 games.