NBA rumors: Lakers-Trae price tag, Warriors trade deadline whiff, Kuzma spurned Mavs

  • Kyle Kuzma turned down trade to Mavs
  • Warriors made 'very serious' push for Alex Caruso
  • Potential price tag for Lakers-Trae Young trade

Trae Young, Taurean Prince, Jaxson Hayes, Clint Capela
Trae Young, Taurean Prince, Jaxson Hayes, Clint Capela / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages
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NBA rumors: Kyle Kuzma picked Wizards over Mavs at trade deadline

The Dallas Mavericks were the closest team to landing Kyle Kuzma at the NBA trade deadline. Now, the latest comments from Kuzma reveal just how close he was to changing teams. The Washington Wizards allegedly came to Kuzma with the option to join Dallas, but he expressed a desire to stay in D.C.

From Josh Robbins of The Athletic ($):

"There was a point in time, Dallas, they definitely did want me. [Wizards GM Michael] Winger presented me with what the trade was and obviously didn't want to trade me and kind of left the decision up to me a little bit and asked me what I wanted to do. I told him I wanted to stay and continue to build something. And that was kind of the end of it."

Kuzma said he wants to stay in Washington and forge ahead with their rebuild. Having already won a championship with the Lakers in 2020, Kuzma said the Mavs' timeline "didn't line up" with his own aspirations (essentially saying Dallas isn't actually a true contender yet). The Mavs are obviously much better positioned for immediate contention than Washington, but Kuzma enjoys a much more prominent stature in the Wizards organization.

For the season, Kuzma is averaging 21.8 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 4.2 assists on .456/.329/.801 splits in 31.7 minutes. Inefficiency is a concern, but we have to remember that he is operating as the No. 1 scorer for a well below-average Washington team. Planted next to Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving in Dallas, Kuzma's shooting percentages would probably spike in the right direction.

The Wizards can still consider Kuzma trades in the offseason. At this point, there's a genuine belief that he can net multiple first-round picks. That's a lot for a player who projects, at best, as the third or fourth-best player on a winner.