The Mavericks were very interested in trading for Kuzma, but the Wizards value Kuzma’s play and off-court intangibles.
“The Wizards came ‘close’ to accepting one offer for Kuzma, team sources said, but although the Wizards sources would not reveal the identity of the potential trade partner, additional reporting by The Athletic revealed that the suitor almost certainly was the Mavericks and not the Sacramento Kings,” Robbins wrote. “The offer for Kuzma from the Mavericks was not compelling enough to the Wizards, who sought a home-run offer and not just a fair offer. Washington’s asking price was said to be at least two first-round picks. Wizards officials value Kuzma’s play and off-court intangibles — seemingly far more than most other teams, according to The Athletic’s reporting heading into the trade deadline.”
Kuzma is averaging 21.8 points, 6.3 rebounds and 4.2 assists this season while shooting 45.6% from the field, 33.2% from beyond the arc and 80.1% from the free-throw line. The forward is making $25.6 million.
The Wizards signed Kuzma to a four-year, $90 million contract last offseason. Kuzma’s annual salary decreases every year.
A Michigan native, Kuzma has career averages of 17.1 points, 6.3 rebounds and 2.7 assists with the Los Angeles Lakers and Wizards. The 28-year-old helped the Lakers win the 2020 NBA title against the Miami Heat at the Walt Disney World bubble.
The Mavericks acquired Gafford from the Wizards and P.J. Washington from the Charlotte Hornets at the NBA trade deadline. Seeing how far Dallas goes in the 2024 playoffs will be fascinating with All-Stars Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving leading the way.