Mac Engel

Porzingis accusation embarrasses Mavs, changes nothing about a lottery pick they don’t want

Not too long after the Dallas Mavericks made a show of publicly apologizing for antiquated and offensive front office attitudes and behaviors towards women in the work place, they traded for a player they knew was under investigation for rape.

Wonder if they ran this by the woman they hired to be CEO, Cynt Marshall?

According to The New York Post, Dallas Mavericks forward Kristaps Porzingis is under investigation for allegedly sexually assaulting a woman he knew on Feb. 7 2018, when he was with the New York Knicks. He has not played in an NBA game since Feb. 6, 2018 when he suffered a torn ACL.

The Knicks traded Porzingis to the Mavericks on Jan. 31 of this year.

Per ESPN’s NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski, the Mavs were aware of the allegations and the specifics at the time of the trade. According to the story in The Post, the alleged victim “has admitted to cops that she discussed getting $68,000 in hush money from” Porzingis. In a twist no one expected, the money was reportedly for ... her brother’s college tuition.

Porzingis’ lawyer issued a statement to ESPN that said, “.... unequivocally deny the allegations. We made a formal referral to federal law enforcement on December 20th, 2018, based on the accuser’s extortionate demands. We also alerted the National Basketball Association months ago and they are aware of the ongoing investigation of the accuser by federal law enforcement.”

A source said the Mavs were told about extortion, but nothing beyond that. That is a large difference.

Here is what will happen: Nothing.

This is all a bad look for a team whose owner went on national TV to admit embarrassment and shame for how his organization treated women only to turn around a few months later to trade for a player who was accused of rape.

This is a bad look for a team who thanked Porzingis’ brother, Janis, at his introductory press conference, and then hired his personal physiotherapist.

The Mavs will give Porzingis a large extension this summer, and this news does not affect how the Mavs want to build this team, and specifically their views on the upcoming NBA Draft, which they want nothing to do with.

As much as you may want the Mavericks to continue to lose, the team wants no part of the lottery pick you desire. Not unless it’s the first pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, known these days as Zion National Star.

The Mavs are not eyeing anyone other than Zion Williamson in what is considered a weaker class in ‘19. The next draft this team cares about is 2022.

To obtain Zion they will have to win the lottery on May 14; the only other time they had the top pick in the draft was 1981, when they selected Mark Aguirre.

Since trading everyone on the team not named Dirk or Luka, the Mavs have lost all hope of actually making the playoffs for the first time since 2016. They currently hover with the sixth-worst record in the NBA; if they continue to lose they may just reach the fifth overall pick, which means they keep that top-five selection rather than ship it to the Atlanta Hawks as part of the deal for Luka Doncic.

Only if it’s Zion do the Mavs want the pick, because retaining it causes more headaches than solutions.

A top five pick means the Mavs have to pay a top five rookie salary, thus creating a problem as they pursue potential free agents. And, for the first time, free agents will desire the Mavs as the prospect of playing with The Luka and Porzingis is a point of sale.

If the Mavs do secure this top five pick, their first round pick goes to the Hawks in 2020. There is a better chance of the Mavs dealing this pick than actually using it on a player for their own roster.

And the Mavs’ first round in 2021 goes to the New York Knicks as part of the Porzingis deal, as well as a top-10 protected pick in ‘23.

That leavs the Mavs with a first round pick in ‘22, which is significant because all voices point to the league abolishing the 1-and-done rule for that class of players.

If all goes according to plan, the Mavs would be making a first round selection somewhere in the 20s, in a deeper and more talented class. This is the theory.

When the Mavs made the deal to acquire Doncic, they never wanted a high first round pick in ‘19. It was not until The Zingis became theirs, and the losses suddenly piled up, was keeping this top-five pick a remote possibility.

With each loss, that possibility becomes more likely, but they still do not want this pick.

And nothing will happen with Porzingis.

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