Wizards Notes: Kuzma, Porzingis, Gafford, Future

Kyle Kuzma knows he’ll get a huge contract wherever he goes in free agency, so that won’t be the main factor when he makes his decision on where to play, writes Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington. Keeping Kuzma, who held an exit interview with team president Tommy Sheppard on Saturday, will be one of Washington’s top offseason priorities. The 27-year-old forward plans to listen to offers from all interested teams and will reach a final decision based on what he believes is best for his future.

“It’s not about money, I’m going to get paid regardless anywhere [I go] and here, too,” Kuzma said. “It’s about can I come into work every day and be the best version of myself, can I help lead guys, can I make other players better, can I light up rooms. All those things matter when you’re trying to be successful.”

Hughes notes that Kuzma has achieved his greatest NBA success during the two years he has spent with the Wizards. His stats have improved compared to his four seasons with the Lakers, and his overall game has expanded. Kuzma told reporters he has enjoyed his time in Washington and indicated that two years of losing might not cause him to seek a more successful franchise.

“I think you have to have patience,” he said. “I believe to certain extents what guys like (Damian Lillard) and even (Bradley Beal have said), those guys where they talk about how the grass is not always greener and stuff. Just because you go to a contender doesn’t mean you’re going to win a championship right away because health can be a factor.”

There’s more from Washington:

  • Kristaps Porzingis, who’s involved in extension talks with the Wizards, said he can foresee a long-term future with the team, per Ava Wallace of The Washington Post. Porzingis posted career highs in scoring and field goals percentage this season while appearing in 65 games, his largest total since 2016/17. “This was a great opportunity for me last season when I got traded here,” he said. “This was one of the places that I was looking at and I thought I could fit there very well, and, yeah, it’s been great. I believe this is a great place for me also, going forward.”
  • The Wizards will add center Daniel Gafford to their lengthy inactive list for the season finale on Sunday, tweets Josh Robbins of The Athletic.
  • Failing to reach the play-in tournament marked another disappointing season in Washington, states Candace Buckner of The Washington Post, who adds that a late-season tank left the team with only a remote chance to land one of the draft’s top prizes. Buckner reviews the season to determine what went wrong for the Wizards and whether there’s reason to believe the future will be any brighter.
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