Mavericks conclude Kristaps Porzingis' bar fight a result of being 'in the wrong place at the wrong time,' report says
Dallas also learned Porzingis' hand, once believed to be broken during the fracas, is actually fine
A little over a week after Kristaps Porzingis in his home country of Latvia, a recent report from Brad Townsend of the Dallas News indicates that not only did Porzingis not break his hand during a bar fight, he was not at fault for the incident -- at least in the eyes of the Mavericks.
According to the report, the fight was started by Russians -- apparently gang members who were upset that Porzingis switched teams last season. The 7-foot-3 forward was traded from the New York Knicks to Dallas before the trade deadline in January.
Furthermore, the source said, Mavericks officials investigated the incident in Latvia, have spoken at length to Porzingis and are satisfied that the incident was a case of the 7-foot-3 23-year-old being "in the wrong place at the wrong time."
After the incident in Latvia, a source told The News that Porzingis was attacked by several Russians. In the video that emerged after the fight in Latvia, Porzingis had a gash over his right eye and his left hand appeared to be bloodied. Several news organizations cited unnamed sources in reporting that the Russians who attacked Porzingis were gang members. TMZ reported that the Russians were upset that Porzingis "switched teams" last season.
There had been concern after a report emerged in Latvia that one of Porzingis' hands was broken as a result of the incident. It would now appear that report was exaggerated.
Porzingis hasn't played in over a year since tearing his left ACL in February 2018. He was a part of a blockbuster trade that saw him get traded to the Mavs, a deal that involved seven players and two first-round draft picks.
While that trade seemed to come out of nowhere, Knicks president Steve Mills recently indicated that Porzingis had actually demanded a trade,if he wasn't dealt immediately.
"[Porzingis] point-blank said to us, 'I don't want to be here,'" Mills said at a speaking event on Wednesday. "[He said]: 'I'm not going to re-sign with the Knicks and I'm going to give you seven days to trade me, or I'm going back to Europe.' Fortunately for us, through that process we [started] in September, we had a number of deals lined up, and we started the trade calls as soon as he walked out of the office."
With the fight and the trade now in the rear-view mirror, it's time for the Mavs and Porzingis to worry about free agency. The 23-year-old is eligible to become a restricted free agent this summer.
He is eligible to earn as much as $158 million over five years with the Mavericks. The most any other team could offer Porzingis is $117.2 million for four years.
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