Washington Wizards: 5 players who could replace Kyle Kuzma at the trade deadline

Washington Wizards, Kyle Kuzma. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Washington Wizards, Kyle Kuzma. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /
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Onyeka Okongwu, Washington Wizards
Onyeka Okongwu of the Atlanta Hawks throws it down with ferocity (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

Onyeka Okongwu would be a great trade target for the Washington Wizards

While he isn’t enough to net Kyle Kuzma for the Atlanta Hawks by himself, Onyeka Okongwu is an incredibly interesting asset that the Wizards should consider as a trade target.

The newly revamped front office has been clear that they want to establish a winning culture within the franchise as soon as possible. They have added/retained former NBA champions Jordan Poole and Kyle Kuzma in hopes of doing so, but adding a defensive centerpiece like Okongwu would also get the job done.

The 22-year-old center already has a reputation for sending shots back as he averages 1.1 blocks per game for his career despite only playing 19.3 minutes per game. He has been constantly stuck behind Clint Capela since he entered the league and last season he proved that he is ready for a larger role.

He averaged 9.9 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks per game last season while shooting 63.8% from the field while only playing 23.1 minutes a night.

On offense, he is great at not only being a lob threat as a freakishly athletic center, but he also cleans up mistakes with 2.7 offensive rebounds per game.

These are key aspects to his game as Okongwu is undersized for his position only measuring in at six-foot-eight. However, his leaping ability and muscle go a long way in covering up his lack of size for a center. This lack of height also makes him more versatile as a defender, allowing him to occasionally switch onto wings.

Tagging him along with some other assets like De’Andre Hunter or AJ Griffin would really move the needle for the Wizards and bring true defensive talent into the franchise for the first time in a long time.