Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban envisions a long, bountiful future for the franchise with Kristaps Porzingis and rookie Luka Doncic sharing the court.
"Our goal is to keep them together for the next 20 years," Cuban said Monday at an introductory press conference in Dallas.
Porzingis was acquired last week along with Tim Hardaway Jr., Courtney Lee and Trey Burke in a deal with the New York Knicks that shipped Dennis Smith Jr., Wesley Matthews, DeAndre Jordan and multiple draft picks out of Dallas.
Porzingis said he's well ahead of schedule rehabbing the torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, but he will not play this season.
"I feel great," he said Monday, nearly one year removed from reconstructive surgery. "I feel bouncy and I'm ready to get back on the court."
Porzingis will be a restricted free agent this summer, after the Knicks declined to offer him a rookie extension last offseason.
He conceivably could become an unrestricted free agent in July 2020 if he chooses to sign his qualifying offer this summer and decline any extension offers from Dallas.
Porzingis averaged 22.7 points and 6.6 rebounds per game before his injury last season (Feb. 6).
Cuban made it clear the Mavericks want to make it difficult on Porzingis to leave by helping build a roster around him and Doncic, the clear frontrunner for NBA Rookie of the Year.
When Porzingis was asked by a reporter Monday if he envisioned signing a long-term deal with Dallas, Cuban responded, "I can answer that for you. Yeah, he does."
Porzingis smiled and said, "We're on the same page."
Porzingis refused to address his departure from New York or rumors he was offered first to the New Orleans Pelicans for Anthony Davis.
He circled back to playing with Doncic and returning Dallas to playoff prominence.
"We have a great relationship," Porzingis said of Doncic. "Now that we have an opportunity to play together, I'm really excited about it."
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