Report: Mavs Discussed Aaron Gordon, Otto Porter Before Kristaps Porzingis Trade

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistFebruary 2, 2019

ORLANDO, FL - JANUARY 31: Aaron Gordon #00 of the Orlando Magic shoots a free throw during the game against the Indiana Pacers on January 31, 2019 at Amway Center in Orlando, Florida. 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 2019 NBAE (Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images)
Fernando Medina/Getty Images

Prior to acquiring Kristaps Porzingis from the New York Knicks on Thursday, the Dallas Mavericks explored trade possibilities for two other young forwards.

Per's Zach Lowe, the Mavs "investigated" Aaron Gordon's availability with the Orlando Magic. They also looked into a scenario that would have landed them Otto Porter for Harrison Barnes.

"The Mavericks have sniffed around Barnes deals, including the possibility of flipping him for Otto Portera move that would effectively work as a free-agency signing, sources say," Lowe wrote. "But that was before the Porzingis stunner, and Washington doesn't appear to have had any interest, sources say."

Wizards owner Ted Leonsis shot down the notion his team would trade any of its top three players during the season.

"We're not trading any of those players," he said when reporters asked about John Wall, Bradley Beal and Otto Porter on Thursday.

After a promising start to the season, the Magic are currently 10 games under .500 and four games behind the Miami Heat for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

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Gordon is in the first season of a four-year, $84 million contract he signed over the summer. His deal is structured so his salary declines each year, starting at $21.59 million in 2018-19 before ending at $16.4 million in 2021-22.

The Mavs are in a difficult position heading into this summer. If their first-round pick this year falls outside the top five, it will transfer to the Atlanta Hawks as part of the Luka Doncic-Trae Young swap.

Dallas could start the offseason with $78.66 million in salary commitments if Barnes and Dwight Powell opt into their deals. That doesn't include the potential $7.5 million qualifying offer for Porzingis.

Lowe cited Barnes and Powell as trade chips to keep an eye on, potentially for an expiring contract, to give the Mavs more financial flexibility in their attempt to build around the Porzingis-Doncic duo while they are still on team-friendly deals.