Kyle Kuzma told The Atheltic this week that he does not intend to sign an extension with the Washington Wizards and would instead reject his player option for the 2023-24 season in order to become a free agent this summer.
While the Wizards have shown flashes of becoming a playoff contender this season, they haven’t done so in the previous two weeks, leading to speculation regarding Kyle Kuzma’s future with the organization. The 27-year-old Kuzma has become an integral part of the Wizards’ roster, so his intentions shouldn’t come as a shock.
Washington, which has $208 million committed to Beal over the next four seasons and who also has Kristaps Porzingis under contract for next season through a player option, may move Kuzma at the February 9 trade deadline for valued assets rather than letting him depart in free agency with no return. Now that he may be available in a trade, let’s examine the top three landing spots for him.
3. Atlanta Hawks
John Collins is still available for a trade, and it’s becoming obvious that this squad needs some new blood. In terms of overall improvement, swapping Collins for Kuzma would not be a huge step forward, but he would be a better fit for the team.
Kuzma is superior at perimeter defense and can also contribute offensively by making three-point shots. Furthermore, the Atlanta Hawks have a wealth of promising young players they may employ to sweeten the deal.
2. Brooklyn Nets
The Washington Wizards have apparently been contacted by the Brooklyn Nets about making Kuzma available. As he satisfies both their idealized personality and their on-court requirements, this is not a shock.
T.J. Warren hasn’t done much to impress, so they could use another big man to aid them on the boards, come up with their own scoring opportunities, and relieve Kevin Durant of some of the load. It’s not like he’s a lockdown stopper, but he’d be an improvement on defense anyway.
1. Los Angeles Lakers
Without a doubt, the Los Angeles Lakers are still smarting from the Russell Westbrook deal. He has never tried to hide the fact that he is deeply in love with Los Angeles.
The influence of stars like LeBron James and Anthony Davis, Kuzma said, stunted his growth. But he also understands that his chances of winning a championship are better while wearing purple and gold.