Grade the Trade: Wizards flip Kuzma for a blossoming young guard

Kyle Kuzma Washington Wizards (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Kyle Kuzma Washington Wizards (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /
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Washington Wizards
Dwight Powell, Dallas Mavericks. Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images /

Does this trade work for the Wizards?

On the surface, this probably feels like selling low on Kyle Kuzma. The question that the Wizards have to ask themselves is whether they are truly comfortable paying Kuzma at the peak of his value, likely well over $20 million per season, and/or are they comfortable with him walking for nothing this summer.

Trading Kuzma now is different than if Kuzma was having this season and had two more low-cost years on his contract. Teams negotiating with Washington know they don’t have a lot of leverage, and having Jaden Hardy and an extra first-round pick next season instead of nothing may be enough for the Wizards to say yes.

Hardy was a second-round pick this past summer but had a lottery pedigree coming into his single season with the G League Ignite. He has been a monster playing for the Mavericks’ G League team this season and looks like he will be a really good bench guard at a minimum for his career, and perhaps even more.

This isn’t the best value out there for Kuzma, and it partly depends on what kind of asset the Wizards want back. Hardy is talented and young and would help to reset their timeline, but it’s not entirely clear whether the Wizards want that.

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Grade: C+