NBA rumors: Mavs almost landed Wizards' Kyle Kuzma at trade deadline
The Washington Wizards were mostly quiet at the trade deadline, despite several key veterans picking up steam in the rumor mill. Kyle Kuzma was widely considered a name to watch, and according to Josh Robbins of The Athletic, a deal did almost come to fruition (subscription required). That said, Washington wanted a "home-run offer," not simply a "fair" offer. That never materialized.
The Dallas Mavericks were the team that got closest to landing Kuzma. The Sacramento Kings were interested, but Dallas made the most compelling offer. While Kuzma ended up staying put, the Mavs did send a 2024 first-round pick to Washington in exchange for Daniel Gafford, who exploded for 19 points in 17 minutes in his Mavs debut.
Washington officials value Kuzma's "play and off-court intangibles," per The Athletic. The 28-year-old signed a four-year, $90 million contract last summer, so the Wizards can re-engage teams next offseason. Kuzma is averaging 21.8 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 4.2 assists on .456/.332/.801 splits as the focal point of Washington's offense.
Frankly, the Wizards were never going to get the "home-run offer" they desired for Kuzma. His advanced stats profile isn't great and he was little more than a role player prior to his arrival in DC. The shot-making chops are real and he can defend a couple positions, but Kuzma is a league-average shooter at best and he doesn't provide one elite skill. The Mavs need floor spacers and defenders on the wing. There's a chance P.J. Washington fits that profile more cleanly than Kuzma, and at half the price.