Last night, Jake Fisher of Bleacher Report noted that the Mavericks had “quietly gauged the trade market” for Kristaps Porzingis. With the victory over the Grizzlies fresh in mind, we opted not to cover it, as it was just one story (though with multiple sources).
Over the last several hours, things have ramped up, and rather quickly. First, Ian Begley of SNY, reported that the Mavericks contacted the Warriors to determine interest. Then, Tim Cato of The Athletic reported that Porzingis was no longer untouchable.
Granted, Tim’s report is more or less an analysis of Fisher’s earlier report and backing of his reporting. But this escalated quickly and it’s worth discussing. In most cases, trade rumors from those outside the Dallas area aren’t to be bothered with as they’re nearly always coming from non-Maverick team sources. Fisher’s report is clear about this, noting conversations with front office people from around the league. But at some point, where there’s smoke, there’s fire.
Dallas owner Mark Cuban has already responded to the rumors, telling Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News the following:
As the Porzingis trade-talk smoke billows, I asked @mcuban about reports that Mavs have gauged @kporzee trade value.— Brad Townsend (@townbrad) February 23, 2021
"It's not accurate," he says. "We have not discussed him in a trade at all. Has not happened."
Which, given that the Dallas front office (and every professional sports franchise) has a long and detailed history of not telling the truth, the main advice I’d have is that everyone buckle up.
We’ve talked about this at length with Porzingis to date; outside of a burst of activity in February and in an injury-shortened playoff stint, Porzingis has been inconsistent. While his highs have been incredible, he’s continued a career that seems hampered by injuries in one way or another.
At the moment, it seems unlikely that Porzingis would actually go anywhere. For one, he’s not played well enough to merit much of a market. Additionally, he’s in year two of a five-year deal and it would take a series of circumstances outside my imagination to align in such a way that would result in a trade the Mavericks might actually benefit from involving Porzingis.
The bottom line here is that the best way for Porzingis to silence any thoughts of trading him is to actually play and play well. He’s a capable player, as we’ve seen in spurts. Basketball is a long season, though, and it’s important he find some sort of consistency in effort and quality of play.