It looks like Kyle Kuzma’s days with the Washington Wizards are numbered, with the trade talks surrounding him only growing louder each day.
Kuzma has been linked with potential trades as of late amid the Wizards’ fear that he could leave in the offseason. Kuzma signed a three-year, $39 million contract extension with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2020, with the third year of that deal being a player option. The 27-year-old forward was traded in 2021 and is entering the third year of his contract in 2023-24.
It is believed that Kuzma is planning to use that player option to opt out of the deal, a situation that could force the Wizards to trade him now instead of risking to lose him without anything in return.
Now, talks about the 27-year-old forward being shopped are circulating around NBA circles, with NBA insider Marc Stein noting that it’s hard to see the Michigan native staying in Washington beyond this season.
“There’s a rising belief leaguewide that Kuzma is gettable between now and the Feb. 9 trade deadline as a result because the Wizards might ultimately be forced to concede that they have to trade him before the buzzer to ensure they don’t lose him for nothing. Based on the rumbles I’ve heard, I struggle to envision Kuzma wanting to stay in the nation’s capital beyond this season,” Stein wrote on his Substack.
For what it’s worth, the Lakers have been linked for a potential trade for Kyle Kuzma, with previous reports indicating that they reached out and inquired about him. The Phoenix Suns and New York Knicks are said to be interested as well amid Kuzma’s desire to leave the team. Kuz averaged 21.8 points, 7.6 rebounds and 3.5 assists through 33 games this 2022-23 campaign/.
It remains to be seen what the Wizards will do, but if what Stein said is true, then fans shouldn’t be surprised to see Kuzma dealt away by the trade deadline.