The Washington Wizards’ Key Player is Kyle Kuzma

Kyle Kuzma, Washington Wizards. (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images)
Kyle Kuzma, Washington Wizards. (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images) /

Last season was not a stellar one to say the least. After fighting their way into the 2021 playoffs, the Washington Wizards failed to make it to the postseason in 2022. Bradley Beal was injured and needed to get season-ending wrist surgery, while regressing from the previous season. Several of the acquisitions prior to last season did not pan out, which led to multiple moves during the season. Lineups had to be shuffled non-stop.

However, there was one constant throughout it all; Kyle Kuzma. Kuzma was one of the new members of the Wizards roster, but he ended up being the team’s MVP.

After years of being in the bright lights of Los Angeles, while trying to prove to everyone he belonged, he looked to find his true self in D.C.. Kuzma embraced the four spot, after the Lakers tried to make him a three for his duration with the franchise.

He was positioned to be the third “star” alongside the All-Star tandem of LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Kyle Kuzma is not a star, but he can be a key player; a player that excels at both ends of the court that is complementary to the stars of the team.

Kuzma might not be an All-Star, but he is going to be the third guy in another big three. However, this time is different with less expectations and a focus on being the key player he was destined to be.

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One of the revelations from Kuzma was his ability to be a team leader. There were times he simply did not let the Wizards die in games. He took the team and carried them to the finish line at times.

With Beal out, someone needed to step up and fill the void. Kyle Kuzma was ready for that moment. Following Beal’s injury, Kuzma averaged 20.5 points per game. For the entire season, we saw Kuzma improve on multiple fronts.

He was able to reach career highs in assists and rebounds with 3.5 and 8.5, respectively. Furthermore, he became one of the clutches players in all of the NBA. The Wizards were surprisingly one of the better clutch teams in the league thanks to him.

How does this transition into this season with a healthy Beal coming back and Kristaps Porzingis ready to play a full season with the Wizards? Last season was a great showing from Kuzma, but that might not be sustainable for a team that wants to make the postseason.

However, those reps will give the Wizards the confidence to go to Kuzma when need be. Regardless of injuries, or situational matchups, Kuzma is ready to be the key piece for the Wizards.

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