“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,” Josh 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.”
The 28-year-old is in his seventh NBA season and third as a member of the Wizards franchise. Before being traded to the Wizards back in 2021, he spent the first four seasons of his career with the Los Angeles Lakers franchise and won a title with the team back in 2020.
Kuzma has arguably been the most productive player on the Wizards so far during the 2023-24 regular season. In 49 games played with the team, he is averaging 21.9 points, 6.4 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game while shooting 45.5 percent from the field and 33.1 percent from deep.
He leads the Wizards in points per game and is averaging the second-most assists per game, behind only guard Tyus Jones, who is averaging 6.4 per game.
Kuzma showed out against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Feb. 7 in his final game before the trade deadline. He logged 32 minutes of playing time and finished with 28 points, four rebounds, two assists, two steals and one block while shooting 11-of-24 from the floor and 5-of-13 from 3-point range.
But despite Kuzma’s big game, the Wizards still lost at home by eight points, which marked the team’s fourth loss in a row. They are 9-41, and the Detroit Pistons are the only team in the Eastern Conference with a worse record than the Wizards at the moment.
Instead of trading for Kuzma on Thursday, the Mavericks opted to deal Grant Williams, Seth Curry and a first-round pick to the Charlotte Hornets in exchange for P.J. Washington. Washington averaged 13.6 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game in 44 games played with Charlotte this season before getting traded.
Kuzma’s scoring and playmaking chops would have made him an interesting fit on paper alongside Kyrie Irving and Luka Doncic. But it’s understandable why the Mavericks didn’t pull the trigger on a deal for Kuzma, considering the Wizards seemingly had a high asking price for him.