Mavericks ‘Not a Trade Suitor’ for Nets Star: Report

Luka Doncic Dallas Mavericks

Getty Kevin Durant #7 and Ben Simmons #10 of the Brooklyn Nets.

Against the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday night, Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic had to be his usual mind-boggling self. In the 103-102 nailbiting win, Doncic tallied 35 points, 11 rebounds, and five assists through 40 minutes of work.

That stat line — especially the time on the floor — highlights the workload Doncic has been forced to bear through the first month of the young season. Doncic could use all the help he can get (though he’s performing admirably without it) at the moment. But according to NBA insider Marc Stein, that support won’t be coming in the form of Brooklyn Nets star Ben Simmons. In short, the Mavericks’ interest in Simmons isn’t genuine. In fact, it might not even be coming from the Mavericks camp at all.

“Contrary to recent reports, league sources say Dallas is not a trade suitor registering interest in Brooklyn’s struggling Ben Simmons. This might be one of those cases, I’m told, where the Mavericks have been mentioned repeatedly to try to create some sort of market for Simmons.”

The news comes after reports last week that the Mavericks are a “team to watch” if the Nets were to sell Simmons.

Simmons Linked to Mavericks One Week Ago

According to one Western Conference executive who spoke with Heavy Sports’ Sean Deveney, the Mavericks are a team to keep an eye on for Nets star Ben Simmons.

“Dallas is a team to watch, Simmons would be an interesting fit next to Luka (Doncic) if the Nets were willing to take back (Tim) Hardaway and (Davis) Bertans. I am not sure how much higher the Mavs could go in terms of an offer but that would definitely be interesting for Luka.”

Simmons’ fit in Dallas would likely be an awkward one. For starters, Simmons doesn’t address any position of need for the Mavericks. Playmaking? Dallas would be better off sticking with Spencer Dinwiddie. Defense? The Mavericks have a top-ten defense without Simmons’ so-so display so far on that end of the floor.

The Mavericks would likely have to play Simmons at the four or five, a position Dallas is already loaded with in guys like Christian Wood, Dwight Powell, and JaVale McGee. No, as Stein noted, this story smells of the Nets trying to manufacture a market where it doesn’t exist.

But hey, it wouldn’t be the first time the Nets tried a fast one.

Nets’ Attempt to Trade Durant ‘Largely Fake’

One of the biggest storylines of the summer revolved around one of Simmons’ Nets teammates: Kevin Durant. With Durant wanting out of the Empire State, several teams registered interest in the future Hall of Famer. The Nets reportedly fielded a few calls, but according to NBA Insider Ethan Strauss, it was all a farce. A charade.

“According to NBA insiders, Brooklyn’s effort to deal KD was largely fake,” Strauss reported on his blog House of Strauss. “Sure there were a few legitimate calls at the very beginning when Durant made his ask. After that point, though, the trade discussions were mostly a façade, conducted simply to suggest the effort.”

The Durant situation is, of course, different than a team trying to gin up interest in a player, like the Nets were attempting to do with Simmons. But even still, it’s a tough look getting called out like that twice in as many months.

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