Kristaps Porzingis participated in his first full practice with the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday. "I felt good on the court. I felt comfortable, I felt fluid," Porzingis said of graduating from 3-on-3 workouts. "It feels good to do something physically."
Porzingis landed with the Mavericks in February when the New York Knicks unloaded the 7-foot-3 All-Star, who hasn't played this season while recovering from a torn ACL, as the centerpiece of a seven-player swap. Head coach Rick Carlisle said the Mavericks are following a plan with Porzingis, who will not play this season.
"No issues," Carlisle said after the workout Wednesday. "He's made tremendous progress with his rehab, with his conditioning, his strength. This was the next logical progression. He played 3-on-3 yesterday morning with some of the other guys and did extremely well there. This went really well." Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said he engaged Porzingis about a long-term deal in February. Cuban said his goal is make sure Porzinigis is a member of the franchise for "the next 20 years."
Porzingis can choose to play next season on a $4.5 million qualifying offer instead of accepting an offer that could be worth as much as $158 million over five years. New York decided not to sign Porzingis to a rookie extension before the 2018-19 season -- allowing him to become a restricted free agent after this season -- in part to preserve an extra $10 million in cap space to go after free agents this summer.
Before the trade, the Knicks were projected to have slightly more than $30 million available under the salary cap, enough to lure a max-value contract in free agency.
(With inputs from agencies.)