Monday, April 15 2024

The Mavericks were busy at the end of this transfer market, as they dealt with players like Daniel Gafford and PJ Washington ahead of the deadline. The Dallas front office was determined to keep adding talent around co-stars Kyrie Irving and Luka Doncic, who reportedly was excited with both moves. 

In a recent appearance on ESPN this Thursday, insider Adrian Wojnarowski revealed that the Slovenian was “very enthusiastic” with the trades, as the point guard was first consulted about the negotiations before they signed the deals.

“I was told that Luka Doncic was very enthusiastic about the idea of landing P.J. Washington. I think that was a little bit of a motivating factor that he was excited about the possibility of getting him at this trade deadline to add him to this team to make a run,” the NBA reporter said.

The Texan franchise acquired the Hornets player and two second-round picks in exchange for Grant Williams, Seth Curry and a 2027 first-round pick. As for Gafford, the Mavs traded for a 2024 first-round pick from Oklahoma City and then re-routed it along with Richaun Holmes to Washington for the big man.

“We had three goals coming in here,” GM Nico Harrison said. “We wanted to get bigger, we wanted to add to our depth in the front court and then also get some scoring punch. So those were our three goals, and we feel like they’re here to accomplish those.”

The Dallas executive believes that the ex-Hornets athlete’s ability to score will be impactful wearing the Mavericks jersey, as he’s already averaged 13.6 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 2.2 assists in 44 contests this season so far.

“PJ, I think, the biggest thing about him is is he can score,” Nico explained. “I think a couple of weeks ago, he might have had 40 points or something like that. He can get dirty. He can get hot. He can shoot. He can create. So it’s just versatility but also rim protection. He can block shots, and he’s big. He can play the four and five.”

The Mavs GM further explained how he expects the new signings to thrive inside the team’s formula

In Washington’s case, the Dallas front office believes his converting rate will only go up when he’ll be on receiving end of playmaking from Doncic and Irving. The former Charlotte forward is a career 35.9% shooter from beyond the arc over 304 regular season matches.

“When you have really good guards, you get really good shots, and it makes it a lot easier,” Harrison explained. “So I think you just try to envision what their skill sets are, what they do, and then you imagine them when you’re playing with 1 of the best guards — excuse me — the best guard in the league, what’s your what are your shots going to look like now? You’re going to have more space, more time.”

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The Mavericks expect to find in Gafford his highly efficient interior play finishing as well as a rim roller and cutter. The ex-Wizards player has been averaging 10.9 points, 8.0 rebounds, and 2.2 blocks in 45 games this campaign, and should provide more center depth behind Dereck Lively II.

“When you look at Gafford, big time in protection, adding depth to our front court,” the Dallas GM expressed. “I can just imagine him and Luka and Kai in the pick-and-roll and what that’s going to bring.”

Source: Basketball Insider


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