Mavs Bolster Frontcourt In Trades For Hornets' P.J. Washington, Wizards' Daniel Gafford

Charlotte Hornets forward P.J. Washington brings the ball up court during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Lakers, Monday, Feb. 5, 2024, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Jacob Kupferman)
Charlotte Hornets forward P.J. Washington brings the ball up court during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Lakers, Monday, Feb. 5, 2024, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Jacob Kupferman)
View All (4)

The Dallas Mavericks made two moves to bolster their frontcourt just as star guards Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving are healthy and playing together again in a push for the playoffs.

The Mavericks agreed on trades with the Charlotte Hornets and Washington Wizards just hours before the deadline Thursday.

Dallas gets power forward P.J. Washington from the Hornets for Grant Williams, Seth Curry and a 2027 first-round draft pick.

The Mavericks, who are getting two second-round picks in the Charlotte trade, acquired center Daniel Gafford from the Wizards for center Richaun Holmes and a first-round selection this year.

Dallas acquired the pick it is sending to the Wizards by swapping 2028 first-round selections with Oklahoma City.

Washington was the 12th overall pick out of Kentucky in 2019 and just signed a $46.5 million, three-year contract with the Hornets this past offseason.

The 25-year-old has averaged 13 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2.3 assists over 4 1/2 seasons while shooting 45% from the field and 35.9% from 3-point range.

Washington is averaging 13.6 points and 5.3 rebounds this season while mostly coming off the bench and is shooting 32.4% from beyond the arc.

He would make sense as the starter at power forward in a lineup that would include Doncic, Irving and rookie center Dereck Lively II, who also has been in and out of the lineup because of injuries.

Irving returned from a thumb sprain two games ago to rejoin Doncic, and the Mavericks won both. They entered a game at the New York Knicks on Thursday night eighth in the Western Conference.

Lively won't play against the Knicks, the fifth consecutive game he will miss because of a broken nose. He could return Saturday at home against Oklahoma City, which could be Washington's debut with Dallas.

Gafford averaged 10.9 points and 8.0 rebounds as Washington’s starter. He would likely be the backup to a healthy Lively, and would probably start in Lively's absence.

Holmes, acquired from Sacramento in a draft night deal last summer, had a brief stretch in the Dallas rotation but was used sparingly overall. He averaged 3.4 points and 3.4 rebounds in 23 games.

Various injuries have limited Irving and Doncic to 24 games together after a similar pattern last season following Dallas' blockbuster trade that brought Irving from Brooklyn.

The Mavericks never gained any traction after adding the eight-time All-Star and ultimately were fined for tanking to hang on to a draft pick — which they used on Lively — while missing the postseason after reaching the 2022 Western Conference finals.

Washington has played all five of his NBA seasons with the Hornets, averaging 13 points and 5.5 rebounds in his 304 games. He is averaging 13.6 points and 5.3 rebounds in 44 games this season.

Williams had a role similar to what is likely for Washington after joining Dallas from Boston as part of a three-team trade last July. The fifth-year power forward averaged 8.1 points and 3.6 rebounds in 47 games this season, shooting 37.6% from long range.

The trade means the end of a third stint in Dallas for Curry, who is in his 10th NBA season. Golden State star Stephen Curry's younger brother averaged 4.3 points per game for the Mavs this season.

The deal is a homecoming for Curry and Williams. Both played high school basketball in Charlotte.

___

AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/NBA