The Washington Wizards entered a full-scale rebuild this offseason after hiring Michael Winger to run their basketball operations. Bradley Beal and Kristaps Porzingis were traded, and the team’s focus shifted. They are looking to develop young talent and build a contending roster from scratch over the next five years.
The Wizards will be sellers at the trade deadline, and they should look to move veterans like Kyle Kuzma to create more playing time for their young talents. Kuzma signed a four-year $90 million contract this summer and cannot be traded until Dec. 15, but he will likely fetch additional draft capital.
The 6’9 forward is averaging over 20 points per game for the second straight year and multiple teams were rumored to be interested in free agency. Will somebody step up and make the Wizards an offer they cannot refuse? Here are four potential deals to explore before Kuz can officially be moved.
4. Hornets try to contend with Kuzma
Charlotte is not a free-agent destination but wants to build a contender around LaMelo Ball and 2023 second-overall pick Brandon Miller. The Hornets need more talent to make that a reality. Gordon Hayward is in the final year of his contract, and Charlotte will be shopping him before the deadline. Instead of selling for draft capital, the Hornet could look to upgrade their roster.
It likely would just take one lottery-protected first-round pick to convince the Wizards to part with Kyle Kuzma, but will the Hornets offer up this package?
Kuzma is five years younger and two inches taller than Hayward. He would give Charlotte another strong scorer and secondary creator next to LaMelo. There would be defensive concerns for the Hornets, but they simply need talent if the goal is to make a playoff push.
Kyle Kuzma’s most likely destination is a team looking to quickly jump into contention, which could create several options for the Washington Wizards beyond the Hornets.