Having tall players in the league is not unusual in the NBA. 7-footers have dominated the game in previous eras and they have adapted to the current trend of shooting in the NBA as well. But they have a small shelf life. It is true that the bigger they are, the harder they fall and one player in particular might be falling harder than we can fathom.
Start with New York
Kristaps Porzingis was drafted by the Knicks with the 4th pick of the 2015 draft. On Draft night, despite knowing nothing at all about the player, the Knicks fans who were on attendance booed the pick feeling the Knicks messed up again.
How did Porzingis retaliate? He had a good start to his career as he was immediately put as the starting forward for the Knicks. He put up averages of 14.3 points, 7.3 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.9 blocks per game. He silenced his doubter in the matter of a season and from there he continued to grow.
His progress was surprising for the Knicks as they didn’t expect a 7-foot 3 player to be shooting so well from beyond the arc. His interior offense needed work but he showed his potential as a probable star in the league.
After Carmelo left the team in the 2017-18 season, Porzingis had the keys to the team and his averages boosted all-round the board. He made his first All-Star team. Unfortunately Porzingis suffered an ACL injury that sidelined him for the rest of the season and more.
Despite his growth, Porzingis hasn’t been able to lead the Knicks to the playoffs. Well give it was the Knicks who didn’t even get proper role players around him, that was to be expected. He lost his cool with the team and felt he should be competing for the championship. So in the 2019 trade deadline, he got trade to the Dallas Mavericks.
His trade was received with a lot of expectations as he and Luka were supposed to be the next best duo in the league. Once he started playing, he was happy to be a part of a playoff team and competing for a title. His playstyle had suffered a bit but he was still putting up numbers. He made his first playoff appearance but he got injured sidelining for the series.
This would be a new constant for Porzingis as every season he would be missing games due to his injury. Plus he is not satisfied with the role as he complains that Luka doesn’t pass him the ball where he wants it. Last season it reached a boiling point as Porzingis would keep on voicing his disapproval and the Mavericks realized they could escape his medical bill.
So in the 2022 trade deadline he got traded to the Washington Wizards. Porzingis right now is in a squad with Bradley Beal who is one of the best shooting guards in the league at the moment. But there is no telling for how many games he will be available.
With an injury history, Porzingis needs to maintain his body the best he can if he wants to stand a chance in the NBA. The cycle has already started where he will start bouncing from team to team without making too much of an impact because of his injuries and would ultimately fall off the league. He has a unique skill set which most teams want but if its unusable for most of the season then there isn’t a point to it. His path with the Wizards will decide Porzingis’ fate in the league and he better buckle up if he intends to stay!