Should the Dallas Mavericks make an all-in run at Kyle Kuzma ahead of the NBA Trade Deadline?
Considering how down the public was on the Dallas Mavericks after how the team disappointed during the second half of last season (after the move for Kyrie Irving), there weren't a ton of expectations on this team heading into the start of the season. Halfway through the season, the Mavs are within a game of the 5th seed and four games out of the 4th seed. A strong run in the second half of the season and the Mavs could find themselves with homecourt advantage in the first round of the playoffs.
But part of them making a strong second-half push could very well hinge on making a big addition via trade, something that Dallas has to be exploring just three weeks before the February 8 NBA Trade Deadline.
As the Mavs continue to scour the trade market for upgrades, Kyle Kuzma is a name that has come up as a player Dallas has expressed some interest in. As the NBA Trade deadline inches closer and closer, the question is, will the Mavs make a strong push to land Kuzma as their attempt to land a final piece of their championship puzzle?
Could Kyle Kuzma be the final piece for the Dallas Mavericks?
It's hard to predict whether a player like Kuzma would work as a final piece of the Mavs' championships puzzle. On paper, such a move would make sense. The Mavs have a need for a consistent third scorer. Kuzma could work seemingly as such next to Luka and Kyrie. However, would that trio be enough to come of the West? That's ultimately the question Dallas would have to answer between now and the trade deadline.
While the addition of Kuzma would certainly move the need for the Mavs, there's an argument to be made that what Dallas needs more than a consistent third scorer in the frontcourt is an additional defensive wing. For as good of a player as Kuzma is, defense is not exactly a strong suit for him.
Roughly halfway through the season, the Mavs have a top-10 offense but just the 18th-best defense. That could or should be viewed as more of a priority for the Mavs heading into the second half of the season. That's where the team's recent interest in Jerami Grant and Pascal Siakam (before he was ultimately traded to the Indiana Pacers) came from.
Shifting from Grant and Siakam to Kuzma would be a stark change. It may be too premature to read into the Mavs' interest in Kuzma all that much. But, at least from an objective standpoint, this is a move that doesn't add up. I'd have a hard time believing that the Mavs making a move for Kuzma, and likely gutting their depth, would result in them taking a big step forward in the Western Conference.
At this point, with what the Mavs need and where they stand in the Western Conference, I'd argue that making a big move for Kuzma, considering what it will cost, would end up being a colossal mistake. One that could haunt the team for multiple years down the line.