Though previous rumors claimed that the Washington Wizards would keep him, the most recent sources indicate that the team could move Kyle Kuzma to the Sacramento Kings by the NBA move Deadline.
The Kings have been linked to Kuzma for many years, and according to The Athletic, this year appears to be no exception.
The Sacramento Kings have coveted Kuzma for some time. They had a deal done for him in 2021 for Hield while he was with the Lakers only to see L.A. pivot and then deal Kuzma to Washington in the multi-team trade that sent Westbrook to the Lakers. Sacramento had interest in signing Kuzma this summer as an unrestricted free agent before he re-signed in D.C. And the Kings have been a bit off-kilter for large parts of this season.
Earlier rumors imply that the Wizards have a high asking price for Kuzma. However, this appears to be “somewhat overblown”:
League sources maintain Washington has been holding out for two first-round picks for Kyle Kuzma, though team sources indicate that is somewhat overblown. The truth is probably somewhere in the middle.
Kuzma’s career-high 21.9 points per game leads the Wizards, who are 9-37 overall. Kuzma also has career highs in assists per game (4.4) and field goal percentage (45.6%).
Kyle Kuzma was scorching in Detroit with 30 PTS as the Wizards came out on top! pic.twitter.com/07gfm81Uwu
— NBA (@NBA) January 27, 2024
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NBA Rumors: Sacramento Kings Want Washington Wizards’ Star?
Why do the Kings want Kuzma?
The Kings may be interested in Kuzma’s services for a variety of reasons. Kuzma is a great, all-around scorer who can fill out a “Big Three” alongside De’Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis. Furthermore, his underappreciated playmaking has the potential to propel the 27-18 Kings in the second half.
Furthermore, the Kings see the 28-year-old as an upgrade to Harrison Barnes, the team’s starting power forward. Kings beat reporter James Ham described the team’s pursuit of Kuzma:
Then again this summer, the Kings were very interested in Kuzma again. They had negotiations with Harrison Barnes and his group about a potential fit about bringing Harrison back. But then the Kings got to a certain point with negotiations and then went radio silent for like 10 days while they went out and made sure that they were making the right move for themselves. Part of that, from what I know, was to kick the tires again on Kuzma who eventually went back to Washington
Kuzma also fits the team’s timetable better than Barnes, who is nearly 32 years old.
Will the Wizards trade Kuzma?
Although his name has frequently been mentioned in trade rumors, it appears that the Wizards will keep the former NBA champion.
While Wizards forward Kyle Kuzma has been viewed as a potential in-season trade candidate, he’s under contract for several more years, and Washington appears to be in no rush to move him, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski said on The Woj Pod.
According to a recent source, the Wizards have “been very reticent” with Kuzma:
Teams tell me they call them and they’re not getting counters from Washington. If you want to register an offer for Kuzma, fine, you can do it. But they’re not at the point now where it seems like they’re really active in seriously trying to move him. It could change by the deadline, but I know (Wizards executives) Michael Winger and Will Dawkins like Kuzma, like having him there. I think they’ll be particular about what they might do.
This year’s NBA trade deadline is Thursday, February 8. Kuzma has been one of the most popular trade targets this season. It’ll be intriguing to see what happens if the Wizards move the Michigan native. Furthermore, it is worth keeping an eye on Kuzma’s likely destination and what the Wizards can obtain for him.