The Washington Wizards have reported that Kyle Kuzma is an untradeable asset this season moving forward, after sending Rui Hachimura to the LA Lakers. As the trade deadline slowly approaches, the Wizards have made it clear that Kuzma will be part of their future, together with Kristaps Porzingis.
Senior NBA writer for Yahoo Sports Jake Fischer reported that Washington has plans for Kuzma moving forward. Earlier this season, the 2020 champion made it clear that he wants to be an unrestricted free agent in the upcoming off-season. This makes it the Wizards’ decision to keep him a bit odd, since the 27-year-old forward isn’t willing to return.
According to Fischer, the Wizards are more inclined to sign Kuzma for more money than Hachimura. This is why the front office decided to pull the trigger in trading for Kendrick Nunn.
“The Wizards had no intention of rewarding Hachimura that type of money, and this trade says as much about Washington’s goal of re-signing forward Kyle Kuzma as anything else. The Wizards have told inquiring teams, such as the Hawks and Suns, that Kuzma is not available for trade, sources said, despite his objective to decline next season’s player option and test the open market.” Fischer wrote.
Right now, the Wizards seem to like what they’re seeing from the 6-foot-9 forward. Kuzma is having a breakout season for Washington as he’s averaging 21.8 points, 7.6 rebounds, and four assists while he’s shooting 45.7% from the field and 34.2% from beyond the arc.
The Wizards could be planning big things for Kuzma this season. Given his breakout campaign, keeping him could be a smart choice for Washington. It’s still up to the young forward if he wants to return to the team in the 2023 offseason. Ideally, a huge contract could be the key to bringing him back.
Also read: Reports: Kyle Kuzma makes a bold move to become unrestricted free agent this summer
Kyle Kuzma could be the missing piece to turn the Wizards into Eastern Conference contenders
The Wizards have been on the rebuilding path since the injury to John Wall back in the 2019-20 season. This time around, with trades that brought them Kyle Kuzma and Kristaps Porzingis, Washington could be a serious threat in the near future. That is if Kuzma decides to stay with the team.
The team’s star, Bradley Beal, hasn’t been available for most of the season due to injuries. This has helped Kuzma have a breakout season. With the offense in his hands, his numbers have increased significantly. But according to the forward himself, he prefers playing for a contending team, which the Wizards aren’t.
If he decides to stay with Washington, there will be a new big three, headlined by Beal. Kuzma isn’t the only one in Washington having an incredible season. Porzingis is averaging All-Star numbers, making him a valuable asset for the organization.
Also read: Kyle Kuzma reflects on how LeBron James’ and LA Lakers’ separate fanbases add to the pressure of playing for 17-time champions