Could Kyle Kuzma be an injury replacement for the All-Star Game?

Kyle Kuzma of the Washington Wizards runs back to play defense after scoring on the Portland Trailblazers (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Kyle Kuzma of the Washington Wizards runs back to play defense after scoring on the Portland Trailblazers (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /

Kyle Kuzma is in the midst of a breakout season at the age of 27. He is seeing career highs, or at least close, nearly across the board, and has been an all-around force for the Washington Wizards. The only thing missing from this season’s resume is an All-Star appearance.

However, with the news that Kevin Durant, a starter representing the Eastern Conference, will be sidelined through the All-Star break, there is now a frontcourt opening in the east. Kyle Kuzma would be a great option to replace the former MVP.

Adding a player like Kyle Kuzma to the game has a few advantages for the NBA.

First, it would get a player from a smaller market that at times seems disinterested in their team. The Washington Wizards are at the very bottom of the league in attendance percentage this season. This could build interest in the Washington fanbase and possibly sell more tickets and raise the TV ratings for the All-Star game.

Second, it gets an incredibly flashy and popular player into one of the biggest events of the season. He may not be the best player in the league, but Kyle Kuzma has style and has gained a large following from it.

Third, every fan loves an underdog story. Kyle Kuzma was a late first round pick who surpassed every expectation right out the gates. Eventually, even the Los Angeles Lakers moved on due to fans giving up on him. Now he is back, stronger than ever. This is easily a story that the league could capitalize on.

Kyle Kuzma is averaging 21.3 points, 7.6 rebounds, and 4.0 assists per game this season. The Wizards are even 24-27 when he plays the full game. He has only missed one game this season and it was one of the most embarrassing losses of the year.

Why is Kyle Kuzma not on the All-Star Game roster?

It is clear that Kyle Kuzma deserves to be named an All-Star, but the reality of the situation is that there are more players in the Eastern Conference that are ahead of him in line. Most notably Pascal Siakam of the Toronto Raptors.

On top of this, record matters with these kinds of accolades. The Washington Wizards are fighting to even stay in contention for the Play-In Tournament even with Kuzma in the roster. This made it very unlikely that he would get the nod.

To put the cherry on top, his efficiency has been subpar this season, only hitting 45.3% of his shots. Even worse, he shoots 33.2% from beyond the arc and 71.6% from the free throw line. These are just not good shooting splits for a player that shoots the ball as often as he does.

While Kyle Kuzma has bee great this season, even having an argument for the All-Star Game, it’s tough to make an argument for him over others. Whether it be due to his shooting percentages, or the team record, he just doesn’t have a case over guys like Pascal Siakam or Jimmy Butler. It looks like the Washington Wizards will be going another year without a player in the All-Star game.

Next. 3 Wizards players who need a new role to succeed. dark