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Cuban says Mavs want Porzingis, Doncic for long haul

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By Agence France-Presse

Kristaps Porzingis won’t join new Dallas teammate Luka Doncic on court this season, but once he does Mavericks owner Mark Cuban wants to keep the duo together for the long haul.

“Our goal is to keep these two together for the next 20 years,” Cuban said Monday as the NBA club held a press conference to introduce new acquisitions Porzingis, Tim Hardaway Jr. Courtney Lee and Trey Burke.

Latvian big man Porzingis, the number four pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, hasn’t played since undergoing surgery to repair a torn left knee ligament last February.

He was traded from the New York Knicks last week in a blockbuster multi-player deal, but the Mavericks were quick to say that they don’t expect him to resume competition this season.

Cuban said the Mavericks will evaluate Porzingis and develop a timetable for his return.

“I’ve been patient this whole time and I’m going to keep staying patient,” Porzingis said. “We’re going to make the right decisions.”

While Porzingis can become a restricted free agent at the end of this season, Cuban envisions Porzingis staying in Dallas and forming a dynamic duo with rookie sensation Doncic, the third overall selection in last June’s draft who is averaging 20.7 points per game along with 7.0 rebounds and 5.4 assists.

Porzingis, 23, said he had a “great relationship” with the 19-year-old Slovenian, having played against him in Europe.

“I remember he was a few years younger than me. We just know each other from playing against each other for a long time,” Porzingis said. “Now that I have the opportunity to play with him I’m really excited about it.”