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#pounditFriday, April 12, 2024

Report: Kyle Kuzma drawing interest from West contender

Kyle Kuzma in his Wizards uniform

Dec 6, 2021; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Washington Wizards forward Kyle Kuzma (33) in the first half against the Indiana Pacers at Gainbridge Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Washington Wizards forward Kyle Kuzma is expected to be a hot commodity ahead of the NBA trade deadline. One Western Conference contender is reportedly enamored with the idea of adding the 28-year-old wing.

According to NBA insider Marc Stein, the Dallas Mavericks “have inquired” with the Wizards about Kuzma.

Washington is reportedly seeking “at least two first-round picks” for their prized forward. The team’s preference is to acquire draft capital of “higher quality,” which means first-round picks for future drafts instead of the relatively weak upcoming 2024 class, Stein added.

The Mavs do not own their 2024 first-round pick, but do have multiple future picks available for trade.

Dallas may also have competition for Kuzma out West ahead of the Feb. 8 deadline. Stein noted that the Sacramento Kings are also “known to be Kuzma fans.”

Kuzma, if acquired by Dallas, would provide a huge scoring boost to the Mavs’ frontcourt. The Mavs’ top frontcourt scorers are Grant Williams, Derrick Jones Jr., and rookie Dereck Lively. All three average fewer than 11 points per game in the Mavs’ backcourt-led offense.

In 42 games this season, Kuzma has averaged a career-high 21.8 points with 6.4 rebounds, and 4.3 assists as the Wizards’ primary option. Kuzma’s 45.5% shooting clip from the field is on pace to be his best over the last five seasons.

H/T CBS Sports

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