Tuesday, August 9, 2022 Aug 9, 2022
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Mark Cuban Addresses the Seth Curry Trade in Precisely the Correct Way

It is what it is.
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The Mavericks haven’t done a ton especially well on the transaction front over the past few years, due in no small part to Dallas not doing much of anything on the transaction front over the past few years. Ever since the blockbuster Kristaps Porzingis trade, which celebrated its third anniversary Monday, they’ve mostly been content to tweak and tighten on the margins of their roster. They’ve placed their bets on chemistry, culture, and an overhauled coaching staff to take Luka Doncic and Co. out of the first round of the playoffs for the first time since they won the title, in 2011.

Mostly. The glaring exception is the 2020 draft-night deal that sent Seth Curry to Philadelphia in exchange for Josh Richardson and an early second-round pick that became Colorado forward Tyler Bey. The synthesis was sound. Curry was a phenomenal shooter who also presented defensive liabilities on a team that could scarcely afford them, so flipping him for a (theoretically) ready-made stopper with some playmaking chops in Richardson plus a long-bodied Dorian Finney-Smith starter kit in Bey (again, theoretically) made sense given that, at the time, the Mavericks had just set an NBA record for offensive efficiency. Losing Curry would sting, but Doncic alone figured to guarantee a top-tier offense for years to come (we have now ascended to the highest plane of theoretical).

Instead, it became a mild disaster. Richardson bombed and subsequently got flipped to Boston for a trade exception plus Moses Brown, an intriguing project who won’t impact the Mavericks’ on-court fortunes in a meaningful way any time soon, if ever. Bey appeared in 18 games, averaged just under four minutes in them, and was subsequently declined a qualifying offer. Meanwhile, under Jason Kidd and new defensive coordinator Sean Sweeney, the Mavericks have reinvented themselves as a defense-first outfit that also happens to have a sudden, glaring need for ace-level shooting … like, say, Seth Curry, who is averaging a career-best 15.5 points per game on also-career-best 49.7 percent shooting, including 40.3 percent from three-point range (an abnormally low mark for him that would also be a team-best in Dallas among players who shoot threes with regularity).

All of which informs the good-natured answer Mark Cuban gave at a recent Q&A session with Penn’s Wharton School of Business to a question posed by an also good-natured, definitely shit-stirring college student wondering whether the Mavs might like that deal back:

Props to this kid, first off, for the high-pitched cackle of the delight once he got a billionaire team owner to give the best response he could have hoped for.

Cuban also handled it precisely the way he should have. Sometimes, you gotta take the L. We’ll see whether his team takes another one Friday night against Curry’s 76ers.


Mike Piellucci

Mike Piellucci

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Mike Piellucci is D Magazine's sports editor. He is a former staffer at The Athletic and VICE, and his freelance…

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