Stein’s Latest: Kuzma, Mavs, Sexton, B. Brown, Celtics

Following up on a report from The Athletic which cited Wizards sources who suggested that the team’s asking price for Kyle Kuzma may be “somewhat overblown,” Marc Stein writes in his latest Substack story that the Washington forward is a trade candidate worth keeping a close eye on in the final week leading up to the February 8 trade deadline.

According to Stein, while the Kings and Mavericks are the suitors most frequently linked to Kuzma, there will likely be other suitors due to his “offensive versatility and favorable contract.” Kuzma is owed more than $64MM for the three seasons beyond this one, but his cap hits decline over the life of the deal, so he’ll count for just $19.4MM toward team salary by 2026/27.

Stein confirms that the Mavericks have consistently conveyed interest in Kuzma and notes that he’s not the only Wizards player Dallas has had its eye on. The team has also made previous runs at center Daniel Gafford and forward Deni Avdija, per Stein.

Here are a few more items of interest from Stein’s latest round-up of trade rumors:

  • While Jordan Clarkson, Kelly Olynyk, and Talen Horton-Tucker continue to be described as potential trade candidates, Collin Sexton may not belong in that group, according to Stein, who hears from league sources that the Jazz guard is a longer shot to be dealt. Sexton is playing some of the best basketball of his career in the 27 games since he entered Utah’s starting lineup in mid-December, averaging 21.6 points and 5.5 assists in 27.4 minutes per night, with a shooting line of .506/.420/.879.
  • The Raptors haven’t lowered their asking price for Bruce Brown and continue to seek a first-round pick for the veteran guard, Stein says. It’s typically difficult to extract a first-rounder for a role player on an expiring contract, but Brown does have a $23MM team option for 2024/25, so if a potential suitor views him as a two-season investment, it’s possible Toronto gets the draft pick it’s seeking.
  • The Celtics continue to peruse the trade market for a frontcourt addition, but they’re only willing to move players on “the most nominal contracts,” Stein writes. Outside of Boston’s usual starting five, Al Horford and Payton Pritchard are the only players earning more than the veteran’s minimum, so it sounds like those seven players will likely be off-limits.
  • In case you missed it, we passed along some Nets-related tidbits from Stein on Thursday evening.
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