Mark Cuban Denies Mavs Put Kristaps Porzingis on Trade Block: 'Why Would I Do That?'

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVNovember 23, 2021

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 21: Kristaps Porzingis #6 of the Dallas Mavericks dribbles the ball during a game at the STAPLES Center on November 21, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. 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 Credit: 2021 NBAE (Photo by Chris Elise/NBAE via Getty Images)
Chris Elise/NBAE via Getty Images

There has been no shortage of Kristaps Porzingis trade rumors during the past calendar year, which was perhaps not surprising considering the Dallas Mavericks lost to the Los Angeles Clippers in the first round of the playoffs in each of the last two seasons and appeared to have a clear ceiling with their current group.

However, Mavericks governor Mark Cuban shot those rumors down in emphatic fashion.

"That's not true," Cuban said, per Mark Medina of NBA.com. "Why would I do that at all? Trades like that, you always end up further behind. When you trade a superstar, you never get the best end of it."

Dallas is off to a 9-7 start, which is good enough for the No. 5 seed in the early Western Conference standings.

Porzingis has been a critical part of the early efforts and is averaging 20.3 points, 8.3 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game while shooting 45.5 percent from the field and 33.8 percent from three-point range. 

He has also been at his best of late with six straight games of 21 or more points and three double-doubles during that span. 

"I've always believed that KP hasn't played his best basketball yet," Cuban said. "Now you're seeing why we didn't trade him. 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."

While the decision to hold onto Porzingis has proved fruitful to this point, the big question mark around the 26-year-old is always health after he missed the 2018-19 campaign, played 57 games in 2019-20 and appeared in 43 games in 2020-21.

Porzingis has missed five games this season due to lower back tightness but told Medina he is experiencing "no limitations" at this point.

That is welcome news for the Mavericks, who will look to parlay his impressive play into a deeper playoff run this season.