Daniel Gafford was liberated on trade deadline day, getting dealt from the Washington Wizards to the Dallas Mavericks after his former teammate, Kyle Kuzma, told Wizards management that he would prefer to remain in the nation’s capital rather than join forces with Luka Dončić and Kyrie Irving.

The news about Kuzma’s heart-to-heart with Wizards management was revealed Tuesday by The Athletic. They documented how Washington discussed a proposed deal to Dallas and heard from Kuzma that he preferred to try to keep building what the Wizards are trying to build – without much success this season.

The teams still pulled off a trade and sent Gafford to Dallas for a package centered around Grant Williams. Gafford thrived last time out when he had 16 points, 17 rebounds and five blocks against his old team.

Playing the Wizards so soon after they traded him was undoubtedly an incentive for Gafford. Tonight he needs to be incentivized by trying to become the most talked-about center in the state of Texas, where he is competing with Houston’s Alperen Sengun and San Antonio’s Victor Wembanyama.

Wembanyama is coming off a freakish outing against Toronto with 27 points, 14 rebounds and 10 blocks, not to mention five assists. The French kid’s second triple-double made him the first player since Hakeem Olajuwon in 1996 to have at least 20 points, 10 rebounds, 10 blocks and five assists in a single game.

Dallas is on a five-game winning streak and is far and away the best NBA team playing in Texas, currently sitting in seventh place in the West. They are just one game behind the Pelicans and Suns, who are tied for fifth. If Gafford keeps excelling, the Mavs will be able to avoid the play-in tournament. They are favored by 11.5 tonight, and the belief here is that Gafford will once again prove to his new teammates that he is the missing piece that can get Dončić, Irving and the rest of the Mavs back to the NBA Finals for the first time since 2011.

NBA Player Props for Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Best Spurs vs Mavericks Player Prop Bets: Player Specials - Rebounds

Gafford is not on the Betway board, but there is an enticing pick that pre-supposes that Wembanyama will get his share of rebounds along with Irving, who is always capable of a triple-double if his head is in the right place.

The Pick: Victor Wembanyama, Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving to all get at least 8 rebounds (+400)

Best Heat vs. Sixers Player Prop Bets: Player Specials - Points  

This should be a 3-point shootout if the Heat play the same way they did against the Bucks, with Robinson, Jovic and Herro taking eight 3s apiece and Love taking seven. Hield has been one of the most prolific 3-point volume shooters in the entire NBA since coming into the league with Sacramento, and Maxey is the leading candidate for Most Improved Player in large part because of his 140 made 3s as he has increased his scoring average 5.3 points to 25.6 ppg. If, as expected, Kelly Oubre Jr. is out there for extended minutes to match Miami’s small lineup, the wager we like is Oubre, Maxey, Herro and Hield to all score at least 20 points.

The Pick: Oubre, Maxey, Herro and Hield to all score at least 20 points (+600)

Best Bulls vs. Cavs Player Prop Bets: Player Specials - Points

This is a good test for the Bulls, who have underachieved for two straight seasons but seem to be putting things together as of late. There is no hotter team in the East than the Cavs despite their loss in Philly two nights ago, but all hot teams eventually cool down, with very few exceptions (The 73-9 Golden State Warriors come to mind). The play here is relatively simple: Take the best offensive player from both teams, and wager that they reach their scoring averages. Easy peasy.

The Pick: Donovan Mitchell and DeMar DeRozan to both score at least 25 points (+275).

Alpering Şengün to have a triple-double

Memphis has been especially lousy at home, winning just five games, and this is a must-win game for the Rockets as they head into the break, especially after the referees gifted them a victory two nights earlier against the Knicks on a bad foul call at the final buzzer. It even prompted one New York sports columnist to question whether the refereeing in the NBA is being compromised by the league’s association with gambling companies. We expect Udoka to pull Şengün aside and challenge him, and the guy will eventually be producing triple-doubles with the same regularity as fellow Europeans Domantas Sabonis, Luka Doncic and Nikola Jokic. This price is nice.

The Pick: Alperin Şengün to have a triple-double (+1500)

Odds are subject to change*

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