Mavericks a Strong Destination for Former Lakers Star: Sources

Kyle Kuzma Dallas Mavericks

Getty Kyle Kuzma formerly of the Los Angeles Lakers.

As long as Luka Doncic is in suiting up, the Dallas Mavericks have a chance. That was made abundantly clear last season when Doncic led the Mavericks to a surprise Western Conference Finals run.

But this summer, the Mavericks capitalized on that momentum by landing, wait for it, Christian Wood and Javale McGee. Not what you were expecting? Worried about Spencer Dinwiddie replacing Jalen Brunson in Dallas’ backcourt? You’re not alone.

Something about this Mavericks team still feels incomplete. Perhaps that’s why one Western Conference executive who spoke with insider Sean Deveney thinks the Mavs could still pull off a trade for former Los Angeles Lakers and current Washington Wizards forward Kyle Kuzma.

Here’s the proposed trade from Deveney:

Mavericks Receive: Kyle Kuzma

Wizards Receive: Dwight Powell, future first-round pick.

The exec that Deveney spoke with explained the rationale behind a potential Dallas-Kuzma trade.

Exec: Dallas Looking to “Get Better Players Across the Board’

The Mavericks weren’t the only team that the Western Conference exec linked to Kuzma. In addition to Dallas, the exec linked the Chicago Bulls and Brooklyn Nets to the young forward.

“They need to cut out some salary but obviously they want to do that while also adding someone young to the mix. The Bulls are, again, in the market for depth at the position so there is a possibility, though they do not want to mess with the luxury tax either. But that could be a Coby White destination. Dallas is just trying to get better players across the board. They can give up an unprotected pick for him and match up the salaries. Kyle’s still fairly young (27) and that has appeal for a team like Dallas. And Brooklyn, I don’t think they’re done. They like their young guys but let’s face it, the clock on this team is running short and they need to win now. Cam Thomas or Day’Ron Sharpe, someone like that would be a draw for the Wizards,” the exec said.

The exec’s view on the Mavs makes the Dallas club out to be a bit desperate. But what exactly would Kuzma’s role in Dallas be?

Mapping Out Kuzma’s Potential Role in Dallas

Let’s begin with one obvious fact: adding Kuzma would keep the Mavericks a jumbo-sized roster. Last season, he was technically a big in the Warriors’ undersized lineup. But in Dallas, Kuzma would join a starting lineup whose smallest player projects to be the 6’5 Tim Hardaway, Jr.

In his first season with the Wizards last season, much more was asked of the young forward. As a result, his numbers sagged. Of course, going from a lineup featuring LeBron James and Anthony Davis to one featuring Deni Avdija and Rui Hachimura was naturally going to come with growing pains.

Kuzma has strong catch-and-shoot chops, converting 36% of catch-and-shoot threes last season. He could be a nice roamer around the experienced playmaker Doncic, acting as an outlet for the Slovenian superstar.

While Kuzma could play some center, evidenced by his role last season in Washington, the Mavs currently have a logjam at the position, with both Wood and McGee projected to slot into those roles. Ditto for power forward, with Wood and Dorian Finney-Smith splitting those minutes.

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