NBA Rumors: Mavericks Were Very Close To Adding ‘Two Really Big Pieces’ Before Trade Deadline, Mark Cuban Says

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is photographed prior to a game against the Los Angeles Lakers.
Katharine Lotze / Getty Images

Despite the fact that they are now down to a tie for sixth place in the Western Conference with a 33-22 record, the Dallas Mavericks didn’t really make any game-changing moves ahead of last Thursday’s trade deadline. However, as owner Mark Cuban recently suggested, the team did make an effort to upgrade their roster in a more substantial manner.

Speaking to The Dallas Morning News in an interview published Friday, Cuban discussed a variety of topics, including the flurry of activity that took place prior to the trade deadline and how his team didn’t figure into any blockbuster deal. As he recalled, the Mavericks were trying to acquire some big-name players, though they ultimately came away empty-handed in two separate attempts.

We came really, really close on a couple deals. Two really big pieces. They were both three-team deals, and in one case was a trade-and-extend and we couldn’t get the player to agree on terms. And the other piece, one of the teams just decided they didn’t want to trade a key guy to make it happen.”

Although Cuban did not mention any specific teams or players, rumors leading up to Thursday’s deadline had frequently linked the team to center Andre Drummond, who was eventually sent to the Cleveland Cavaliers in a trade with the Detroit Pistons. Cavs big man Kevin Love was another frequently mentioned trade target, though he ultimately stayed in Cleveland, despite a myriad of rumors linking him to the Mavericks and various other rival teams.

While Drummond or Love could have provided an instant upgrade for injured center Dwight Powell, Bleacher Report noted that several other players were rumored to be among the Mavericks’ pre-trade deadline targets. These included three players who eventually found new homes in recent days — forward Robert Covington (Houston Rockets) and wingmen Andre Iguodala (Miami Heat) and Andrew Wiggins (Golden State Warriors). Rumors had also suggested that Dallas was interested in Los Angeles Lakers guard/forward Danny Green and Orlando Magic power forward Aaron Gordon, both of whom remained with their respective teams.

“It’s unclear if any of these players would qualify as a big piece, while Iguodala is the only one set to enter free agency to fit the ‘trade-and-extend’ description,” Bleacher Report wrote. “Still, Dallas will be left thinking about ‘what if’ after failing to complete any major trade.”

Instead of landing a third star to play alongside Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis, the Mavericks ended up with a pair of role players as a result of their most recent transactions. They acquired center Willie Cauley-Stein from the Warriors last month for a second-round draft pick. They also secured Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. While he has yet to suit up for Dallas, he did get signed off on waivers this week, after he was released by the Charlotte Hornets.