NBA

Mark Cuban: Steve Nash Leaving the Mavs Led to the Porzingis Trade

Mark Cuban bought a majority stake in the Dallas Mavericks in 2000 for $285 million. While many NBA team owners tend to play a passive role, Cuban has always loudly supported the Mavs and is involved in team decisions. He recently discussed how his regret of letting Steve Nash go in 2004 fueled the Mavs’ decision to make the Porzingis trade

One of Mark Cuban’s biggest regrets is letting Steve Nash go 

Mavericks owner Mark Cuban in 2005
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban in 2005 | Kirby Lee/WireImage

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Steve Nash had already been a Dallas Maverick for two years before Cuban purchased the team in 2000. He played for the Mavericks for six years, between 1998 and 2004. Nash was a phenomenal point guard for the team and truly revolutionized the position. He played 408 games for the Mavericks and averaged 14.6 points and 7.2 assists per game.

In 2004, Cuban decided not to resign the 30-year-old Nash. At the time, team doctors suggested that Nash’s back may not hold up much longer. Ultimately, this proved to be untrue as Nash played for 10 more seasons after being let go from the Mavs and went on to be inducted to the NBA Hall of Fame in 2018. 

Letting Nash go back in 2004 is still one of Cuban’s biggest regrets. He recently said, according to CBS Sports, “We let Steve Nash walk. It was the dumbest thing we’ve ever done.” Cuban made this comment when comparing his Nash decision to the Knicks’ decision to let go of Porzingis. 

Not resigning Nash left the Mavs with only one superstar for years. Dirk Nowitzki was left to carry the team on his back. This strategy left the NBA title just outside of the Maverick’s reach for multiple seasons. 

Cuban has no plans of making the same mistake twice 

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As a successful businessman, Mark Cuban rarely makes the same mistake twice. He’s learned from his own bad trade decision with Nash and now capitalizes on the opportunity when he sees other franchises making the same mistake. 

For Cuban, the Knicks made a huge trade mistake when they let Porzingis go because of a torn ACL. However, Cuban is not one to feel sorry for the competition. The Knicks’ loss has become the Maverick’s gain. 

Kristaps Porzingis is a Latvian power-forward that stands 7 feet, 3 inches. Porzingis has averaged 19.5 points, 9.5 rebounds, and 2.1 blocks per game for the Mavs during his first season with the team. For Cuban, he sees Porzingis as the new cornerstone of his Dallas Mavericks. 

Will the pairing of Porzingis and Doncic create a championship team for the Mavs? 

Cuban and the entire Maverick franchise are hopeful that the pairing of Porzingis and Luka Doncic will yield the team multiple championships. Both players are still young, Porzingis being 24-years-old and Doncic being just 21-years-old. 

Luka Doncic is a Slovenian small-forward that stands 6 feet, 7 inches. The Mavericks signed Doncic in 2018. He has since averaged 24.4 points, 8.4 rebounds, and 7.1 assists per game. If Porzingis and Doncic can flourish together, the Porzingis trade will prove to be one of the best trade deals in Dallas Maverick’s history. 

Former Maverick player and NBA Hall of Famer Steve Nash even likes what he sees shaping up at the Mavs. In regard to Luka Doncic, Nash made the statement, “I think he’s maybe the best 20-year-old the NBA has ever seen.” Only time will tell if the pair can live up to all of the hype.