Grade the trade: Wizards continue their rebuild with this proposed Kuzma & Jones deal

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With the trade deadline only a month away, the expectation for trades for the Washington Wizards fans is gradually increasing. With the team firmly in the lottery, the Wizards are expected to move on from their veterans with trade value to maximize their lottery odds and build for the future. The two most in-demand players on Washington's roster are Kyle Kuzma and Tyus Jones.

Jones is having a good season for the Wizards. He is scoring efficiently, making plays for his teammates, and as usual, never turning the ball over. However, he is on an expiring contract. If the Wizards don't want to give him a long-term contract in the offseason, it behooves them to move on from him in exchange for future assets.

Kyle Kuzma is similarly having a career season. At age 28, he is playing a more mature and all-around brand of basketball. As a player in his prime with a team-friendly contract playing a valuable position as a combo forward, Kuzma will attract plenty of interest on the market. The Wizards should think about trading him while he is healthy, playing well, and is at the peak of his trade value.

A potential three-team trade that nets the Wizards the assets they desire could look like this:

kuzma jones trades

The Orlando Magic, who desperately need a pure point guard alongside Franz Wagner and Paolo Banchero, land Tyus Jones, in exchange for veteran Joe Ingles and a future first-round pick. Jones could instantly start for this team and be the floor general. The Wizards could keep Ingles around for veteran leadership or allow him to move to a contender in the final stages of his career.

The Sacramento Kings acquire Kyle Kuzma, who brings additional size, scoring, playmaking, and valuable postseason experience to a team trying to take the next step into contention. In exchange, they send Kevin Huerter and Davion Mitchell to Washington. Huerter has fallen out of favor in Sacramento but he is still young, an excellent shooter, and has upside as a scorer. Mitchell has also fallen behind in the depth chart but he is one of the best guard defenders in the league. He could be better utilized in Washington as the primary defender on the perimeter.

Losing Kuzma would obviously hurt the Wizards on the court. But adding Huerter's shooting and Mitchell's defensive intensity could be extremely helpful for Washington. Plus, they are both younger than Kuzma and Jones. The Wizards could rehab their trade value and move them again for future assets at a later time.

Final trade grade: B+

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