NBA trade rumors: Market for Wizards center Daniel Gafford beginning to heat up

With the 2023-24 NBA season reaching a point of no return for the Washington Wizards, the market for Daniel Gafford has begun to heat up.

Detroit Pistons v Washington Wizards
Detroit Pistons v Washington Wizards / Patrick Smith/GettyImages

Sitting at 7-34 and in 14th place in the Eastern Conference standings, the Washington Wizards lead the Detroit Pistons by 3.5 games for the worst record in the league. With that in mind, the Wizards are likely to be sellers leading up to the 2024 NBA Trade Deadline.

The Wizards have multiple veteran players on team-friendly contracts who could serve as valuable rotational pieces for contending teams. Point guard Tyus Jones and forward Kyle Kuzma have been popular names to watch leading up to the deadline but one player whose market is beginning to heat up is Wizards center Daniel Gafford.

New York Knicks, Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets interested in Daniel Gafford 

Per Matt Moore of Action Network, the New York Knicks, Dallas Mavericks, and Houston Rockets have expressed interest in acquiring Gafford from the Wizards via trade. 

Gafford is in the midst of a breakout season, averaging 10.4 points per game while shooting 68.5 percent from the floor to go with 7.6 rebounds and 2.1 blocks in 36 starts. Only 25 years old, he is also in the first year of a three-year, $40.1 million contract extension he signed in 2021.

New York’s expressed interest in Gafford makes sense given the season-ending ankle injury to Mitchell Robinson (although the team remains hopeful he could return later in the year). Not to mention, Isaiah Hartenstein sustained an ankle injury during the Knicks’ most recent win over the Toronto Raptors. 

Beyond 19-year-old rookie Dereck Lively II, the Mavericks lack size and rim protection. Lively is the only true center on the roster, which can be an issue come playoff time in a conference filled with talented big men such as Nikola Jokic, Domantas Sabonis, Anthony Davis, and Rudy Gobert. 

The Rockets have been deploying 37-year-old Jeff Green as their backup center behind Alperen Sengun. Green is 6-foot-8 and typically spent the majority of his career playing as a forward. Tied with the Los Angeles Lakers for the final spot in the Play-In Tournament, the Rockets would add Gafford in hopes of making a playoff push.

All three teams have a lack of depth at the center position and could benefit from Gafford’s services, hence the potential bidding war.

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