The Mavericks plan on being cautious with Kristaps Porzingis in 2019-20.
Team owner Mark Cuban discussed the concept of load management on SiriusXM Tuesday at the NBA summer league, saying Dallas will use the tactic to keep its newest star healthy and used Kawhi Leonard’s 2018-19 season with the Raptors as an example.
“KP (Porzingis) coming back from an injury … we’re gonna certainly load manage him,” Cuban said. “We saw what Kawhi did, and Kawhi was still banged up in the Finals after all of that. You could see him limping.
“And you can argue about the injuries with Golden State. The length of the season and all those playoff runs. How it cumulatively impacted their health, we don’t know. But, yeah, you’re going to see load management more and more and more.”
The Mavs acquired Porzingis from the Knicks in February ahead of the trade deadline. The 23-year-old big man tore his ACL in February 2018 and missed all of last season. But the Mavericks hope the 2018 All-Star will be a long-term contributor who can help them become a contender moving forward.
Porzingis averaged 22.7 points and 6.6 rebounds per game in 2017-18 while shooting 39.5% from beyond the arc, before his injury. He signed a five-year, $158 million deal with the Mavericks this summer and is expected to be a co-star alongside 2019 Rookie of the Year Luka Doncic in 2019-20.
Dallas still focused on solidifying the rest of its roster this summer though, as it signed guards Delon Wright and Seth Curry. Cuban believes having the right group of role players around stars will be essential to success down the road.
“If you don’t really have a full complement of players and you’re keeping your star player load managed, that creates challenge,” Cuban said.
The Mavericks were 33-49 in 2018-19 and finished 14th in the Western Conference.