DALLAS - Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has spoken to DallasBasketball.com about the "not true'' rumors about the team's willingness to trade Kristaps Porzingis. That doesn't put out all the smoke that exists around whatever fire ...
But it does cause us to put the related rumors under the microscope.
The latest gossip has the Washington Wizards "monitoring Porzingis’ status with the Mavericks ... Washington would have interest in the 7-3 big man as a potential third star alongside Russell Westbrook and Bradley Beal.''
This report comes via Chris Crouse of FortyEight Minutes, and the fact that we have little familiarity with the work done there doesn't have to get in the way of credibility. At the same time, given the fact that in a dream scenario, Beal is the player Dallas would like to acquire in trade, it is challenging for us to imagine what the Mavs would be willing to take off the Wiz roster that Cuban and GM Donnie Nelson would view as equal value for Porzingis, a player struggling in so many ways but nevertheless a "foundational piece'' as the Mavs build toward contention.
Cuban's strong denial about Dallas' activity in even gauging the league’s interest in Porzingis - "There have been no discussions about KP with any team. We have not discussed him in a trade at all,'' he told us - does not have to be accepted at face value.
But some other logical facts certainly do. They include the Mavs' recent Luka Doncic-led surge to 15-15 (Dallas has vaulted to the ninth slot in the NBA West standings), and the belief within the Mavs' front office that they would like to add pieces to the chase, not subtract pieces.
The Wizards are in 13th place in the East with an 11-18 record. It would be ambitious of them to consider themselves "contenders.'' But it would be especially ambitious of them to think they can add Porzingis to a roster while also keeping their other key parts ... especially as Dallas ultimately prefers to get Porzingis straightened out - and to get him and Doncic help.