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Kristaps Porzingis practices with Dallas Mavericks for first time


Thursday 14 March 2019 06:41, UK

Kristaps Porzingis
Image: Kristaps Porzingis joined the Dallas Mavericks in February

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 has not featured this season while recovering from a torn ACL, as the centerpiece of a seven-player swap.

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Head coach Rick Carlisle said the Mavericks are following a plan with Porzingis, who will not play this season.

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"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."

Rick Carlisle
Image: Rick Carlisle says Porzingis will not play this season as he recovers from a torn ACL

Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said he engaged Porzingis about a long-term deal in February. Cuban said his goal is to make sure Porzinigis is a member of the franchise for "the next 20 years".

Porzingis can choose to play next season on a $4.5m qualifying offer instead of accepting an offer that could be worth as much as $158m over five years.

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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 $10m in cap space to go after free agents this summer.

Before the trade, the Knicks were projected to have slightly more than $30m available under the salary cap, enough to lure a max-value contract in free agency.

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