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Monday, July 13, 2020

Mark Cuban was stunned when Knicks offered Kristaps Porzingis trade

Mark Cuban

The Kristaps Porzingis trade was a shocker when it first happened, and the team that ended up acquiring him even thought so too apparently.

Appearing this week on WFAN’s “Moose and Maggie,” Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban discussed his team’s move for Porzingis and admitted that he was taken aback when the New York Knicks offered their 7-foot-3 star.

“Very,” said Cuban when asked how stunned he was to receive the offer. “It happens in the NBA. It’s like the James Harden trade. Harden gets traded from OKC to the Rockets and I’m like, damn, why didn’t we even get that offered to us? We weren’t in the mix. Nobody was. It was one phone call and the Rockets said yes. [The Porzingis trade] was our one phone call.

“We already had those conversations before. GMs talk all the time,” Cuban added. “We’re willing to do this if you ever want to give him up … We used to get calls on Dirk [Nowitzki] ‘We’ll give you A,B,C,D,E and F,’ But we’re not trading Dirk ever. [They said], ‘Well, if you do.’ In this case, [the Knicks] changed their mind.”

The Mavs ended up acquiring Porzingis, already a rising All-Star and potential franchise centerpiece when the trade happened in early 2019, for a package based around DeAndre Jordan, Wesley Matthews, Dennis Smith Jr, and a pair of first-round picks. Also sent to Dallas were Trey Burke, Courtney Lee, and Tim Hardaway Jr, who was the Mavs’ third-leading scorer this season.

While Porzingis was nursing a torn ACL at the time and had been clashing with the Knicks’ front office, the trade does not look any better for them in hindsight. As for the Mavs, to land a one-of-a-kind star like Porzingis just months after drafting another generational talent in Luka Doncic is a touch of good fortune that does not come along too often. If you ask the rest of the NBA too, they were just as surprised as Cuban that Porzingis was available.

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