UPDATE: Jan. 21, 6:50 p.m. — Porzingis will return to the lineup vs. the Clippers.
Kristaps Porzingis is scheduled to play, minutes undetermined right now but will likely play in shorter spurts, per Rick Carlisle— Saad Yousuf (@SaadYousuf126) January 21, 2020
So we know he’s going to be on a minutes restriction, which means he isn’t really a viable DFS play in the Clippers-Mavs Showdown contest on DraftKings. He’s $12,300 as Captain and $8,200 in the UTIL, which is too expensive. I don’t think this will impact the betting lines as much either. Porzingis is a tougher draw, but isn’t going to play the 30+ minutes.
UPDATE: Jan. 20, 1:51 p.m. — Porzingis is listed as questionable to play Tuesday vs. the Clippers. Porzingis has missed the past 10 games due to a knee injury and was supposed to return last week. The Mavs kept him out, though he should be back in the lineup Tuesday if not sometime this week. When that happens, expect a minutes limit. So until Porzingis is 100%, I think we can still roll out Maxi Kleber and Dwight Powell. Though monitor their minutes the next few days before making any moves in season-long.
UPDATE: Jan. 17, 1:34 p.m. — Porzingis was originally listed as questionable, but is now being listed as out for Friday’s game vs. the Blazers.
Porzingis was set to return on Wednesday, but was a late scratch. He’s missed the past nine games due to a knee injury and it looks like he’ll make it No. 10 tonight. The Blazers are in a good spot as a result; Dallas has struggled to contain teams in the paint with Porzingis sidelined. Hassan Whiteside ($8,400) is an appealing GPP play on DraftKings.
UPDATE: Jan. 16, 3:31 p.m. — Porzingis is being listed as questionable for Friday’s game vs. the Portland Trail Blazers.
Mavericks are listing Kristaps Porzingis as questionable for Friday’s game vs. Trail Blazers. Safe to assume nothing will be certain regarding his return until after he finishes his pregame warmup.— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) January 16, 2020
After what happened Wednesday vs. the Kings, I’d say Porzingis is more of a game-time decision than anything, as MacMahon alludes to. Again, Porzingis will also likely be on a minutes restriction if he does return and it’s unclear if he’ll start. Maxi Kleber and Dwight Powell should continue to see more playing time.
UPDATE: Jan. 15, 9:25 p.m. — After being ruled in, Porzingis has been scratched from the Mavericks’ lineup due to knee soreness.
UPDATE: Jan. 15, 8:45 p.m. — Porzingis is available to play vs. the Kings, coach Rick Carlisle confirmed prior to the game.
As the Carlise suggest, Porzingis will be eased back into action, so we can expect a minutes restriction against the Kings. With that, it’s hard to recommend playing Porzingis in any fantasy basketball format really. I still like Maxi Kleber and Dwight Powell given the injuries to the Kings frontcourt.
UPDATE: Jan. 15, 1:32 p.m. — Porzingis is being listed as questionable to play Wednesday vs. the Sacramento Kings.
Kristaps Porzingis listed as questionable for tonight's game against Sacramento. A bit puzzling. I still expect him to play.— Brad Townsend (@townbrad) January 15, 2020
Porzingis was unable to return in the Mavericks’ win over the Warriors on Tuesday, so tonight may be his best shot in the past two weeks. If Porzingis returns, I’d expect a minutes limit of sorts, with Maxi Kleber going back to the bench. I’d still view Kleber and Powell as decent DFS plays, but only in GPPs as low-owned leverage.
UPDATE: Jan. 14, 9:20 p.m. — Porzingis will remain out of the lineup vs. the Warriors.
Porzingis isn't playing tonight— Tim Cato (@tim_cato) January 15, 2020
So we’ll have to wait another game to see if Porzingis returns to the lineup. For now, I like Powell and Kleber in a great matchup vs. the Dubs.
Kristaps Porzingis will be upgraded to questionable for GS game. Went through most of practice, per Rick Carlisle. More to come.— Eddie Sefko (@ESefko) January 13, 2020
Porzingis has missed the past seven games due to a knee injury, but is also dealing with an illness, per coach Rick Carlisle. The Mavericks really need Porzingis back in the lineup, struggling to a 3-4 record without the big man. It was reported last week that Porzingis was close to returning and that this week was the target. He may not get back in against an inferior opponent like the Warriors, so it may have to wait until Wednesday vs. Sacramento or Friday vs. Portland.
Fantasy Basketball Analysis
When Porzingis returns, we should see Maxi Kleber head back to the bench. He’d still have a prominent role as the backup PF/C, but will see less minutes. Dwight Powell won’t be needed as much on offense, so he’d get a downgrade as well despite playing well in Porzingis’ absence. I think Kristaps’ return will help boost Luka Doncic back to posting triple-doubles more often. Not that Luka hasn’t been, if anything he’s still putting up elite numbers. But Doncic has been taking a lot of outside shots, which could be a result of Porzingis not being in there to space the floor better.