There’s plenty of interest in Wizards forward Kyle Kuzma as the NBA’s unofficial trade season begins this week, according to Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report.
Pincus cautions that Washington hasn’t decided to move Kuzma, but there’s a risk he’ll leave in free agency next summer if he declines his $13MM player option for 2023/24 as expected. General manager Tommy Sheppard recently indicated that the Wizards intend to re-sign Kuzma, but Pincus points out that the team already has two established scorers in Bradley Beal and Kristaps Porzingis and is off to an 11-16 start.
Pincus adds that Kuzma could be one of the five best players on the free agent market and may become too expensive for Washington to keep.
“He wants out,” an NBA source said told Pincus. “He’s looking for over $20 million a season and in a big market (or with a contender).”
Pincus cites the Kings, who tried to trade for Kuzma in 2021 before the Lakers sent him to the Wizards, as a team to watch. Sacramento can’t unconditionally offer a first-rounder earlier than their 2028 pick, but Pincus believes a deal could be constructed around Harrison Barnes and either that future pick or a young prospect such as Davion Mitchell.
The Suns may see a Kuzma trade as a chance to finally unload Jae Crowder, Pincus notes, suggesting Crowder and Cameron Johnson, who is recovering from knee surgery, may be enough to get a deal done. Johnson will be a restricted free agent next summer, which would allow the Wizards to match any offer he might get.
Pincus also believes the Knicks have interest in Kuzma, who is represented by CAA, the former agency of team president Leon Rose. Obi Toppin could be the centerpiece of a deal, according to Pincus, who adds that New York has young players such as Immanuel Quickley and Cam Reddish to offer, along with a wealth of draft assets.