The Wizards came close to accepting a trade offer for forward Kyle Kuzma this week, team sources tell Josh Robbins of The Athletic. While those sources didn’t identify the team Washington was talking to, reporting from The Athletic suggests it was the Mavericks. Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN also stated during The Woj Pod on Thursday (YouTube link) that Dallas was trying to get Kuzma from Washington earlier in the week.
The Wizards were seeking a “home-run” return for Kuzma rather than simply a fair offer, according to Robbins, so the Mavericks shifted their focus and ultimately came away with P.J. Washington from the Hornets in addition to Daniel Gafford in a separate deal with Washington.
The trade with Charlotte sent out Grant Williams, whom the Mavericks signed to a fully guaranteed four-year, $53MM contract in a sign-and-trade last summer, giving up unprotected swap rights to their 2030 first-round pick as part of that transaction.
While Thursday’s deals improved their roster, making that sort of investment in Williams, only to trade him several months later after his value had declined, represents a “massive whiff” for the Mavs, according to Tim MacMahon of ESPN. MacMahon stated on the latest episode of the Hoop Collective podcast that there were “personality clashes” involving Williams in Dallas and that the Mavs seemed “determined” to move him.
“He rubbed a lot of people the wrong way,” MacMahon said.
Here’s more on the Mavs:
- Luka Doncic was “very enthusiastic” about the idea of the Mavs acquiring Washington, according to Wojnarowski, who suggests that was likely one factor motivating Dallas to get the deal across the finish line.
- The Mavericks have an open spot on their 15-man roster and general manager Nico Harrison indicated on Thursday they’ll continue exploring ways to upgrade the roster, including on the buyout market, tweets Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News. According to Townsend (Twitter link), the belief within the organization about Dallas’ odds of landing Spencer Dinwiddie, who sat near the Mavs’ bench during Thursday’s game in New York, ranges from “cautious optimism to confident.”
- Tim Cato of The Athletic explores how Washington and Gafford will fit in Dallas, pointing out that – since both players are still just 25 years old and are under contract for multiple seasons beyond this one – their value as trade assets should remain strong if the Mavs decide to move them down the road.
- Confirming previous reporting, Cato cites league sources who say the Hornets had initially been unwilling to trade Washington to the Mavericks without getting Josh Green back, but relented on that stance in the final hours leading up to the deadline.
- Sam Vecenie of The Athletic also assesses the Mavericks’ two deadline deals, expressing some reservations about the move for Washington but dubbing the Gafford acquisition a major win.