Mark Cuban isn’t happy with Kristaps Porzingis’ trade reports.
The Mavericks owner told the Dallas Morning News that a Bleacher Report story claiming the Mavericks have “quietly gauged the trade market” for Porzingis are “not accurate.”
“They’ve definitely sniffed around on him,” an NBA assistant general manager told Bleacher Report. “They’re taking the temperature, because they know at some point it’s gonna come around.”
The BR report noted that the Mavericks prefer to pair the former Knicks All-Star with a quality big man, such as available Cleveland Cavaliers center Andre Drummond. SNY reported that the Mavericks specifically reached out to the Warriors for a potential deal.
The 25-year-old Porzingis, who signed a five-year extension worth $158 million in 2019, is averaging 20.5 points and 8.2 rebounds while shooting 35.2 percent from 3-point range in 17 games this season since returning in January from surgery to repair a lateral meniscus injury in his right knee.
One Western Conference executive told Bleacher Report that he has “looked like a scarecrow” while struggling at the defensive end this season, adding “I’m not sure the guy can guard anybody.”
That comment particularly irked Cuban.
“And BTW, we are not happy that there is a supposed ‘Western Conference exec’ ripping on one of our players,” he texted the Dallas Morning News.
“There is no trade discussion. I think they just used it as a way to put out there what they think of KP.”
The Knicks dealt the 7-3 forward to Dallas while he was recovering from ACL surgery in his left knee – along with Tim Hardaway Jr., Courtney Lee and Trey Burke – in January 2019. The blockbuster deal cleared salary-cap space and netted the Knicks two future first-round picks, including Dallas’ selection this year.
The Mavs (14-15) entered Tuesday ninth in the Western Conference standings and are “reevaluating whether [Porzingis] can truly support [Luka] Doncic as the second option on a contender,” according to the report.
“They’ve kicked the tires on everybody on their roster not named Luka,” a source told Bleacher Report. “You know [team president] Donnie [Nelson], they’re always tinkering.”
Porzingis missed Monday’s win over Memphis with lower back tightness.