3 Wizards players who definitely should not be back next season

Kendrick Nunn, Washington Wizards. Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images
Kendrick Nunn, Washington Wizards. Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images /
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Kyle Kuzma, Washington Wizards
Kyle Kuzma of the Washington Wizards runs the offense during game against the Atlanta Hawks. (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images) /

Kyle Kuzma should not be back next season

The presence of Kyle Kuzma on this list will be shocking to some, and he certainly doesn’t fit the profile of the other two players listed. Kuzma is genuinely a good basketball player who deserves to sign a lucrative contract in free agency, if perhaps not as much as he will be angling for.

The problem is that signing Kuzma to a big, long-term contract on top of Bradley Beal and Kristaps Porzingis locks the Wizards into this core, and this core is not good enough to do anything more than make the playoffs as a low seed.

Kuzma deserves credit for how he has grown as a player, but he is a floor-raiser, not a ceiling-raiser. The Wizards needed Kuzma to shoot more last season and he did, but the underlying player is the same: he is a poor outside shooter, has average efficiency inside the arc, and is merely a good defender. The floor-spacing of Kristaps Porzingis at the 5 props up lineups with Kuzma, but the Wizard should be using his shooting to get an elite defender on the floor, not Kuzma’s so-so shot-making.

The Wizards should have traded Kuzma at the Trade Deadline, but that ship has sailed. Signing Kuzma to a long-term deal at $20 million or more per season would be a massive team-building mistake. Kuzma thinks he can earn a bigtime payday this summer, and if he is right, the Wizards can’t be the ones to sign the check.

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If the Wizards can work out a sign-and-trade destination for Kuzma they could get something back for a truly talented player. If not, they have to make the painful decision to let him walk in free agency and look to build a healthier core of players down the road.