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Kristaps Porzingis trade rumors are infuriating Mark Cuban

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Mark Cuban isn’t happy with Kristaps Porzingis’ trade reports.

The Mavericks owner told the Dallas Morning News that a Bleacher Report story claiming the Mavericks have “quietly gauged the trade market” for Porzingis are “not accurate.”

“They’ve definitely sniffed around on him,” an NBA assistant general manager told Bleacher Report. “They’re taking the temperature, because they know at some point it’s gonna come around.”

The BR report noted that the Mavericks prefer to pair the former Knicks All-Star with a quality big man, such as available Cleveland Cavaliers center Andre Drummond. SNY reported that the Mavericks specifically reached out to the Warriors for a potential deal.

The 25-year-old Porzingis, who signed a five-year extension worth $158 million in 2019, is averaging 20.5 points and 8.2 rebounds while shooting 35.2 percent from 3-point range in 17 games this season since returning in January from surgery to repair a lateral meniscus injury in his right knee.

One Western Conference executive told Bleacher Report that he has “looked like a scarecrow” while struggling at the defensive end this season, adding “I’m not sure the guy can guard anybody.”

Kristaps Porzingis on July 31, 2020
Kristaps Porzingis on July 31, 2020
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That comment particularly irked Cuban.

“And BTW, we are not happy that there is a supposed ‘Western Conference exec’ ripping on one of our players,” he texted the Dallas Morning News.

“There is no trade discussion. I think they just used it as a way to put out there what they think of KP.”

The Knicks dealt the 7-3 forward to Dallas while he was recovering from ACL surgery in his left knee – along with Tim Hardaway Jr., Courtney Lee and Trey Burke – in January 2019. The blockbuster deal cleared salary-cap space and netted the Knicks two future first-round picks, including Dallas’ selection this year.

The Mavs (14-15) entered Tuesday ninth in the Western Conference standings and are “reevaluating whether [Porzingis] can truly support [Luka] Doncic as the second option on a contender,” according to the report.

“They’ve kicked the tires on everybody on their roster not named Luka,” a source told Bleacher Report. “You know [team president] Donnie [Nelson], they’re always tinkering.”

Porzingis missed Monday’s win over Memphis with lower back tightness.

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Bulls’ Zach LaVine called cops on ‘obsessed’ fan at his home

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Zach LaVine had an unwanted visitor.

The Chicago Bulls star had to call the police after an “allegedly obsessed” woman showed up to his Chicago home and refused to leave on Thursday night, according to TMZ. 

The woman reportedly traveled from out of state, demanding to speak with the first-time All-Star, who was home at the time.

Police took her a local hospital for mental evaluation, and she has not been formally arrested or charged with a crime.

LaVine, 25, wrapped up first-half action with the Bulls on Wednesday and was drafted to Kevin Durant’s All-Star side for Sunday’s festivities in Atlanta.

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Blake Griffin a free agent after Pistons buyout

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Blake Griffin will be free to sign with the Nets or another interested NBA team after agreeing to a contract buyout with the Detroit Pistons.

The six-time All-Star forward “has interest from most of the NBA’s top playoff contenders and is expected to make a decision on his next team after conversations with prospective teams,” ESPN reported.

The Nets, Lakers, Heat, Warriors and Clippers – his former team — are among those that have expressed interest, according to the New York Times. ESPN.com added that the Blazers are interested

The 31-year-old Griffin hasn’t played since Feb. 12 while the Pistons attempted to trade him before the March 25 deadline, but they found no takers due to the remainder of his $36.6 million salary for this season and the $39 million he’s owed for 2021-22.

Blake Griffin was released by the Pistons on March 5, 2021
Blake Griffin was released by the Pistons on March 5, 2021
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Griffin is averaging a career-low 12.3 points and 5.2 rebounds in 20 games this season. He was dealt by the Clippers to Detroit in 2018, during the first season of a five-year extension worth $171 million.



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Broncos send a pretty strong warning to Drew Lock

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Drew Lock is no lock to remain the Denver Broncos’ starting quarterback in 2021.

General manager George Paton and coach Vic Fangio both said Thursday that the team expects to bring in competition for Lock, possibly with the ninth pick in the NFL Draft.

“Obviously we’re always looking to bring in players at all positions that can raise the level of competition, and the quarterback is no different in that regard,” Fangio said, according to the team’s website.

“Until we get or until Drew proves to be the next great quarterback, like the ones that the Denver franchise has been used to in years past or certain teams around the league … are used to, we’re going to always try and bring in competition. But I have confidence that Drew can continue to improve.”

Lock made 13 starts in 2020 and tied with Carson Wentz for the league lead with 15 interceptions. He finished 32nd in the league among qualifying quarterbacks with a 75.4 passer rating, ahead of only Dwayne Haskins, Wentz and Sam Darnold.

Drew Lock faces the Patriots on October 18, 2020.
Drew Lock faces the Patriots on October 18, 2020.
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“Very talented, was inconsistent at times, has a lot to work on,” Paton said Thursday. “But I’ve spoken with Drew, I see him every day. He’s here early. He’s working. He really wants to be great. And we’re always going to try to bring in competition at every position, and quarterback as well. But I like the track that Drew’s on.”

Lock, the Broncos’ second-round pick in 2019 out of Missouri, had started five games as a rookie, winning four of them. Denver went 4-9 with him as the starter last season.

“I’m confident that Drew’s going to continue to improve,” Fangio said. “Drew’s had a great offseason up to this point. There’s not a lot you can do, but he’s working hard on his own, coming over here and getting workouts, and I know he’s doing a lot at home by himself, watching video by himself. He’s got a good setup over there. And he’s doing anything and everything he can to improve, even in February and now in March.”

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