The Dallas Mavericks made a concerted effort during the 2023 NBA offseason to upgrade their frontcourt. They finalized a sign-and-trade deal with the Boston Celtics to land Grant Williams and used one of their first-round picks on Dereck Lively II. The team also acquired Richaun Holmes from the Sacramento Kings in a trade over the summer.
But, throughout the 2023-24 NBA regular season, the Mavericks weren’t getting the kind of production they were hoping so. So, just hours ahead of the trade deadline, they got to work upgrading their frontcourt again.
Their first deal was acquiring Daniel Gafford from the Washington Wizards in exchange for Holmes and draft compensation. The second deal they made was acquiring P.J. Washington from the Charlotte Hornets in exchange for Williams, Seth Curry and a first-round pick.
The first-round pick will be in 2027 and is top-two protected, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium. The Hornets are also sending two second-round picks to the Mavericks as part of the deal. Because they owe a protected pick to the New York Knicks, which could convey in 2024, Dallas could not trade away any other first-round selections because of the Stepien Rule.
Using that pick to land Washington is a good deal for Dallas. He provides the team with some scoring punch in the frontcourt, a big man capable of spacing the floor around Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving. It was what they hoped Williams would bring to the table, but he was disappointing in his stint in Dallas.
A forward is what the Mavericks were reportedly targeting and that is what they have landed in Washington. He offers some versatility as he can also play small ball center if Jason Kidd wants to downsize his lineup in certain matchups.
As for the Hornets, get have been busy moving on from veterans today. Trading Washington is the second deal they made, with the first one sending Gordon Hayward to the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Perpetually stuck in a rebuild, the Hornets at least have a direction to go in now. LaMelo Ball, Brandon Miller and Mark Williams are excellent building blocks and they have the draft capital to continue upgrading the roster around that trio.
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