The Washington Wizards are headed straight for the NBA Draft lottery and forward Kyle Kuzma is along for the ride. But perhaps that will change before the Feb. 8 trade deadline.
Per Marc Stein of The Stein Line, the Dallas Mavericks have asked the Wizards about Kuzma, with others undoubtedly interested. The Sacramento Kings are believed to be “Kuzma fans” as well, per Stein.
Washington is reportedly seeking at least two first-round picks for Kuzma.
“And the implication is they will be seeking higher quality picks than Toronto received from Indiana in the (Pascal Siakam) trade; two of the three future first-rounders sent to the Raptors by Indiana are from the oft-maligned 2024 draft this June,” Stein wrote.
The Wizards dropped to a miserable 7-35 after Sunday’s home loss to the Denver Nuggets. That said, Washington is feeling no pressure to trade Kuzma, who’s in Year One of a four-year, $90 million contract, as Stein relayed.
No matter, he’s drawing tons of interest, according to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype.
“Wizards forward Kyle Kuzma has drawn exploratory trade interest from several teams around the league, league sources told HoopsHype, and that interest could intensify with teams missing out on Pascal Siakam,” Scotto wrote late last week. “Following reports that Washington wants two first-round picks to potentially part with Kuzma, there is further clarity and caveats to that. The Wizards would need future first-round picks beyond the 2024 draft with the potential to become lottery picks to consider parting with their best player, league sources told HoopsHype.”
Kuzma, 28, is averaging 21.9 points, 6.4 rebounds and 4.2 assists, shooting 45 percent overall and 34 percent on 3-pointers. He’s due to make $25.6 million this season. He carries NBA career averages of 17.0 points, 6.3 rebounds and 2.6 assists with the Wizards and Los Angeles Lakers.
Dallas (24-18) is currently in sixth place in the Western Conference and aiming to find someone to offer a boost alongside star guards Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving. They also have been linked to Charlotte Hornets forward Miles Bridges.
Meanwhile, the Kings (23-18) won the Pacific Division championship last season, though they sat in seventh place in the air-tight Western Conference entering Sunday’s games.