When the Knicks traded Kristaps Porzingis to the Dallas Mavericks last February, the trade stunned everybody – even Mark Cuban.
The Dallas Mavericks owner joined WFAN’s “Moose & Maggie” on Wednesday and recalled how that trade ultimately went down.
The Knicks had traded Porzingis – who was rehabbing a torn ACL – to the Mavericks along with Tim Hardaway Jr., Trey Burke and Courtney Lee in exchange for Dennis Smith Jr., DeAndre Jordan, Wesley Matthews and two future first-round draft picks.
Marc Malusis asked Cuban how stunned was he when he received the offer.
“Very,” Cuban said with a laugh. “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.”
Cuban added that general managers in the league are constantly talking and telling other GMs what they would do if they ever wanted to trade one of their stars. He said because they had those conversations with the Knicks when they didn’t want to trade Porzingis, it didn’t take much for the trade to transpire.
“We already had those conversations before. GMs talk all the time,” Cuban said. “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.”
Amid the reasons speculated and reported on why the Knicks parted with Porzingis was that he became disgruntled in New York, but Cuban could not speak to that.
“Every team has their own reasons,” he said. “We let Steve Nash walk. It was the dumbest thing we ever done. At the time, we were getting medical advice saying his back may not make it. Obviously, that advice was wrong … The Knicks had their judgment and were trying to do what they wanted to do and sometimes it doesn’t work.”