Kyle Kuzma Reveals Why He Turned Down Mavs Trade

Kuzma Dallas

The Mavericks were pretty active before the trade deadline and Kyle Kuzma himself confirmed there was deal in place to send him to Dallas, but he turned it down.

Washington’s president, Michael Winger, approached Kuzma with a deal that was agreed to in principle, but he felt the need to ask if Kuzma about it since it was a trade Winger “only lukewarm about”, The Athletic’s Josh Robbins reports.

“There was a point in time, Dallas, they definitely did want me,” Kuzma told Robbins. “(Michael) Winger presented me with what the trade was and obviously didn’t want to trade me and kind of left the decision up to me a little bit and asked me what I wanted to do. I told him I wanted to stay and continue to build something. And that was kind of the end of it.”

Winger himself confirmed that the details were true and was glad that Kuzma opted to stay.

“Kyle’s an important player for us and (a) significant contributor to our developing culture,” Winger said. “His commitment is necessary for us to achieve our competitive and environmental objectives. Under the circumstances, I wanted to check in with his belief to continue leading us. He reemphasized his desire to forge ahead, and we’re honored to have him.”

Obviously, the Mavs (31-23) are faring better than the Wizards (9-44) this season, but Kuzma went on to explain why he turned the deal down.

“In my career, I won a championship,” Kuzma said. “So, I understand that when we play this game of basketball it’s not about contending for a playoff spot. It’s about contending for an NBA championship. There’s only like three or four contenders — true contenders. I just felt like our timelines didn’t line up.”

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Kuzma won a championship with the Lakers in 2020 and was traded to the Wizards in 2021 as part of a deal for Russell Westbrook.

READ MORE: Spencer Dinwiddie Explains Why He Chose Lakers over Mavs

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