Kyle Kuzma forces a way out of Wizards?

NBA Analytics Network

The 2022-2023 NBA season is progressing much as many people thought it would for the Washington Wizards. There was potential for the Wizards to make noise this season, but they would need a lot to get their way. So far that has not been the case.

Bradley Beal has missed 10 games and counting, which definitely puts them behind the eight ball. Washington has gone 7-11 with Beal in the lineup and 4-5 without him. The off-season trade with the Denver Nuggets, as the Wizards traded Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Ish Smith west in exchange for Will Barton and Monte Morris, did not work out.

Morris remains a fixed point guard, running the attack and protecting the ball. However, Barton is not making the kind of impact on the wing that Washington had hoped. That put a lot of pressure on Kristaps Porzingis and Kyle Kuzma to pick up all the slack.

Porzingis plays at the level he did when he was on the All-Star team with the New York Knicks in the 2017-2018 season. He averages 22.6 points per game, which is 0.1 short of his career high, along with 8.9 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.6 blocks. Most importantly, he has remained healthy so far, appearing in 27 of 28 matches.

Kuzma is also in the middle of a career season, averaging 21.3 points per game and 7.7 rebounds and 3.6 assists. He hopes to turn that into a lucrative long-term contract in the off-season, as he has a player option for the 2023-24 season. However, if he has his way, it won’t be with the Wizards.

As shared by Eric Pincus of Bleacher ReportKuzma has reportedly set his sights on playing elsewhere, whether via trade this season or as a free agent.

“Teams are waiting to see if the Washington Wizards will trade Kyle Kuzma, who can terminate his contract after the season. An NBA source previously told Bleacher Report that Kuzma “wants to get out” and join a larger market or championship contender who is willing to pay him more than $20 million per season.

LATEST NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Kyle Kuzma & Washington Wizards Updates

The Phoenix Suns, Sacramento Kings, Atlanta Hawks and New York Knicks were mentioned as possible landing sites for Kuzma. However, it is unclear what kind of compensation the Wizards would seek for him in exchange.

Would Washington be focused on bringing back draft compensation, or would they look for pay cuts and young players? The Wizards have a limit, so if they can bring in cheap, affordable talent, they probably won’t pass up the opportunity.

LATEST NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Kyle Kuzma & Washington Wizards Updates

There is also no indication that the Wizards want to leave Kuzma. He is an important part of their rotation and it would be easy for the franchise to bring themselves to be able to put in a run in the postseason as they are currently only two games away from the NBA Play-In Tournament.

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