Grading the trade for the Dallas Mavericks
The Dallas Mavericks would likely plunge themselves into contenders' water if they make this trade, but there are certainly other factors that they would have to take into consideration with this trade as well. Dallas loses a lot of shot creation off their bench by giving up both Hardy and Hardaway Jr., so they'd be relying on the likes of Seth Curry or maybe even Brandon Williams to handle the ball off the bench every now and then.
Losing their starting point of attack defender in Green would be a much huger loss if Dante Exum hadn't blossomed for Dallas this year, but it's still significant depth to lose and would call upon role players such as A.J. Lawson to step up and have a bigger role for Dallas. The other elephant in the room would be Kuzma himself, as he'd make Dallas' offense nearly unstoppable but could get picked on in the playoffs defensively.
As previously mentioned, Kuzma isn't a bad defender, but sometimes the difference in a playoff series can be dictated by the most minute of inconsistencies, and Dallas can't afford to have their lack of wing defense be the factor that gets them bounced out early.
The positives outweigh the negatives for Dallas in this trade though, as the addition of Gafford makes this trade extremely hard to turn down given that Dallas doesn't necessarily have a backup big-man at the moment. Gafford is averaging 10.5 points, 7.6 rebounds, and 2.1 blocks per game this season for Washington, and he'd give Dallas a capable starter and great rim protector if Lively II misses any time with injury. Gafford hasn't played with guards on the caliber of Kyrie Irving or Luka Doncic in his career either, so perhaps they could unlock his offensive game even more as well.
Potential starting lineup: Kyrie Irving, Luka Doncic, Derrick Jones Jr., Kyle Kuzma, Dereck Lively II
The Dallas Mavericks would be in a position to contend if they were to make this trade, but it's hard to say that they have a better squad than a lot of contenders on paper from top to bottom after this trade even if they do address their main issues ahead of the trade deadline through doing this trade. The Mavericks give up substantial depth and assets in this trade that would need to be addressed by reserve players stepping up or the buyout market, but the talent Dallas hauls back is invaluable so they get a B+.