Mark Cuban denies Mavericks are shopping Kristaps Porzingis

Liz Roscher
·3 min read

Mark Cuban has heard the rumors that the Dallas Mavericks are shopping Kristaps Porzingis, and he doesn't like them one bit.

Cuban, who owns the Mavericks, told Brad Townsend of the Dallas Morning News on Tuesday that the team hasn't had any conversations about trading Porzingis.

Dallas coach Rick Carlisle followed Cuban's lead later on Tuesday, too, and said that "nothing has been explored" on that front.

"I know Mark's denied it," he said, via Townsend. "I'm denying it."

The rumor that the Mavericks were sniffing around a possible Porzingis trade came from Bleacher Report, which mentioned Porzingis' defensive decline as a reason the Mavs were thinking about shipping him out.

In fact, Dallas has quietly gauged the trade market for Porzingis, according to league sources, as the Mavericks have begun reevaluating whether the 25-year-old center can truly support Doncic as the second option on a contender. "They've kicked the tires on everybody on their roster that's not named Luka," one person with knowledge of Dallas' thinking said. "You know [president of basketball operations] Donnie [Nelson]; they're always tinkering."

"They've definitely sniffed around on him," an assistant general manager told B/R. "They're taking the temperature, because they know at some point it's gonna come around."

PHOENIX, ARIZONA - DECEMBER 23: Dallas Mavericks owner, Mark Cuban reacts to players during the NBA game against the Phoenix Suns at PHX Arena on December 23, 2020 in Phoenix, Arizona.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2020 NBAE (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is not happy about rumors that he's trying to trade Kristaps Porzingis. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Cuban angry at anonymous comments about Porzingis

The Bleacher Report article that contained the Porzingis trade rumors also featured comments about Porzingis from an anonymous Western Conference executive, and they were not favorable.

"It looks like it's impossible for him to get in a stance. He looks like a scarecrow out there," one Western Conference executive said. "You don't expect him to necessarily be great from the jump, but I've watched Porzingis a couple of times this year, and I'm not sure the guy can guard anybody."

Porzingis has had a tough season so far. October meniscus surgery forced him to miss training camp and kept him out of action until Jan. 13, so he's had no choice but to get himself back up to speed on the court. He's making progress, but he hasn't looked like the player he was in the bubble just a few months ago,

“He’s had to play his way into shape, and it just hasn’t quite been the same,” head coach Rick Carlisle told the Dallas Morning News over the weekend.

All of that puts Porzingis' struggles in context, and it could also explain why Cuban had such a strong reaction to that anonymous executive's comments.

Cuban always makes it clear: the Mavericks are not discussing a Porzingis' trade, and that anonymous Western Conference executive can shut right up.

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