Mavericks Add Frontcourt Depth Ahead of Deadline With Daniel Gafford Trade 

The Dallas Mavericks added some frontcourt insurance on Thursday as they acquired Daniel Gafford in a trade from the Washington Wizards.
Jan 27, 2024; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Washington Wizards center Daniel Gafford (21) dunks the ball
Jan 27, 2024; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Washington Wizards center Daniel Gafford (21) dunks the ball / Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports

Heading into Thursday’s NBA trade deadline, the Dallas Mavericks were one of the many teams looking to make additions to their frontcourt. The Mavericks have been getting solid production from rookie Dereck Lively Il. But they need more to compete in a tough Western Conference.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Washington Wizards are nearing a deal to send Daniel Gafford to the Mavericks for Richaun Holmes and draft compensation.

Last month, Matt Moore of the Action Network reported that the Mavericks were one of the teams interested in Gafford.

The 25-year-old center is having a solid season, averaging 10.9 points, 8.0 rebounds, and 2.2 blocks per game. Gafford also has an ORtg (offensive rating) of 138 and a DRtg (defensive rating) of 115.

As previously mentioned, Lively II has played well this season as a rookie (9.2 rebounds and 7.9 rebounds per game). However, the young big man hasn’t played since Jan. 31 due to a broken nose. 

Without Lively’s presence in the middle, the Mavericks have to lean on the combination of Grant Williams, Derrick Jones Jr., and Maxi Kleber, which is not ideal. 

However, Gafford brings that extra insurance at center as he has some offensive skills and can protect him. The 25-year-old center should play better in Dallas as he has a playmaking point guard in Luka Doncic throwing lobs in the paint.

Another good thing about this trade is that the Mavericks will have him under contract until after the 2025-26 season. Gafford is making $12.4 million this season and a combined $27M over the next two seasons.

More Mavericks news and analysis: