The Dallas Mavericks prepare to face the Oklahoma City Thunder Saturday at 3 p.m. ET, and fans are all on their toes, focusing on the new addition to the team, PJ Washington. Acquired from the Charlotte Hornets, Washington is all set to begin his NBA journey with the Mavericks.
Fans and analysts are looking forward to seeing how he could do so in his debut game against the Thunder. Washington's exit from Charlotte is a big change in his career. After playing 44 games for the Hornets in his fifth season, his relocation to Dallas is considered fresh meat for him to pump up his game.
Adding the very high expectation from Washington to bolster the Mavericks front line known for a robust offense is of very high importance.
Dallas Team Injuries Update
In fact, the team dynamics for Dallas are looking quite promising with only a little bit of concern with injuries.
Luka Doncic will play for the Mavericks on Saturday against the Lakers with a broken nose and Irving is questionable with a sprained right thumb. Maxi Kleber is questionable with a right slight toe dislocation. The team is also without center Derek Lively II, who has a nasal fracture, and guard Dante Exum with right knee bursitis.
The pairing has effectively been a signal that the Celtics plan to do something about their rostered forward position by trade, as they sent out Grant Williams and Seth Curry, as well as a first-round pick in 2027, for Washington, as well as two second-round picks (2024, 2028).
While flashes of brilliance from Williams and Curry could not be avoided, their irregular performances forced the Mavericks to look for a more consistent player. Coming in as a new starter for the Mavericks, the Washington player is supposed to bring in a new spark to the Mavericks' offensive strategy.
"Washington, a strong rebounder with a versatile ability to score, figures to play off Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving, particularly in pick-and-roll actions. It averaged 13.0 points per game, 5.5 rebounds, and 2.3 assists that he has spent so far in the two years with the Hornets have been speaking volumes for Washington to be regarded as a potential.
Looking back at Washington's previous encounters with the OKC Thunder, he has a strong track record—through eight meetings, he averaged 17.9 points and 6.0 rebounds with 1.6 assists. His standout game against the Thunder was in March 2023, where he scored 43 points—the game still remains to be a highlight of his career.