Mavs Owner Makes Strong Statement About Trading Star Big

Kristaps Porzingis Mavs

Getty Dallas Mavericks center Kristaps Porzingis exits the court after a game against the New Orleans Pelicans.

Since his earliest days in a Dallas Mavericks uniform, Kristaps Porzingis has seen his name bandied about in trade rumors. The chatter began picking up steam again earlier this season when the big man averaged 12.7 points on 30.2% shooting and 23.5% from deep over the first three games of the campaign.

Even before he came out of the gate slumping, there were concerns about his fit next to Luka Doncic. Last season, the two were just 0.5 points per 100 possessions positive when they shared the court. In limited time this year, they’re at minus-15.3 as a duo.

Clearly, though, Porzingis’ detractors, national hoops pundits and/or disgruntled Mavs fans who spend their spare time on ESPN’s trade machine haven’t influenced Mark Cuban. The Mavs owner just told as part of a feature on Porzingis that he’s never considered trading the star big man.

“That’s not true. Why would I do that at all?” Cuban wondered. “Trades like that, you always end up further behind. When you trade a superstar, you never get the best end of it.”

Cuban Believes KP’s Best Is Yet to Come

Cuban continued to back his guy, saying that Porzingis has been “playing at an All-Star level.” He’s not wrong, either. Over the eight-game stretch leading into Dallas’ Tuesday night bout with the LA Clippers, Porzingis has been putting up 23.1 points, 9.1 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per contest and shooting 50.4% from the field.

The billionaire doesn’t seem to be surprised that his investment in Porzingis, who inked a five-year, $158 million deal with the Mavs in 2019 — is currently paying off, though.

“This is the unicorn and he’s doing more and more unicorn things,” he added.

Cuban expects additional ROI moving forward, too, regardless of the chatter on the blogosphere and social media.

“I’ve always believed that KP hasn’t played his best basketball yet. Now you’re seeing why we didn’t trade him,” Cuban said. “He’s a great player. He’s a good dude. All of my experiences with him have been positive. So why would we do that? But that’s NBA Twitter and that’s Mavs Twitter. That’s what they do. They’re probably trying to trade Luka right now.”

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The Unicorn Is Hopeful That the Pairing With Doncic Will Get Better

As good as Porzingis has been playing recently, we’re still just talking about an eight-game sample. Also — Doncic was out with an injury for the last three of those games, and the naysayers might point to that as a reason for the continued hot streak.

If you ask Porzingis, though, his chemistry with Doncic is actually starting to get better. And he’s well aware of the fact that sharing the court with the perennial MVP candidate and keeping those lines of communication open will ultimately lessen his burden.

“We’re communicating more. That’s extremely important,” Porzingis said. “We’re off to a good start. I love playing with Luka. It’s hard to find that type of talent to play with, so you have to appreciate that. He makes the game easier for everybody. He does take a lot of the attention off of everybody.”


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