Mavs reportedly trade for Hornets' P.J. Washington

by 24USATVFeb. 8, 2024, 9 p.m. 22
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Dallas continues to spruce up its frontcourt for the final weeks of the 2023-24 season.

Per multiple reports, the Mavs are finalizing a deal to acquire Hornets forward P.J. Washington from the Hornets for Grant Williams, Seth Curry and a first-round pick. Aside from this move, the Mavs are also working to finalize a trade for Wizards center Daniel Gafford.

What trade means for Mavs: Dallas (28-23) is No. 8 in the Western Conference playoff chase, but just two games behind the Phoenix Suns (30-21) and New Orleans Pelicans (30-21) for the No. 5 and 6 seeds, respectively.

One issue keeping the Mavs from climbing the ranks has been its play around the basket, particularly in rebounding and defense. Dallas is No. 25 in rebounds per game (41.5) and allows 45.6 points in the paint, which ranks 28th.

In adding Washington (as well as Gafford), the Mavs are hopefully addressing those issues. Washington is averaging 13.6 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game this season, shooting 44.6% overall and 32.4% on 3-pointers. He should slot into a regular role in Dallas’ rotation and provide scoring and rebounding in the paint, as well as some defense.

The frontcourt addition comes just as star guards Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving are healthy and playing together again for the Mavericks, who are trying to get back to the playoffs after missing the postseason last year.

What trade means for Hornets: Charlotte has been one of the busiest teams in trades this season, which isn’t unexpected given the team’s 10-40 record. Earlier on trade deadline day, the Hornets agreed to deal veteran Gordon Hayward to the Oklahoma City Thunder, which came weeks after the team dealt guard Terry Rozier to the Miami Heat.

Williams was a marquee addition for the Mavs last summer and got off to a quick start this season in Dallas. However, his production has plummeted despite him posting stats (8.1 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 1.7 apg) similar to what he amassed in 2022-23 with the Boston Celtics (8.1 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 1.7 apg).

The veteran Curry returns to his home state and will suit up for the franchise his father, Dell, starred for in the 1990s. This season, he is averaging 4.3 ppg and 1.4 rpg while shooting 36.2% on 3-pointers.

Both Curry and Williams are returning home as both played high school basketball in Charlotte.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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