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NBA Rumors: West Contender to Discuss Kyle Kuzma Trade

Washington Wizards forward Kyle Kuzma, Sacramento Kings trade target

The Sacramento Kings and Washington Wizards “are expected to renew conversations” about forward Kyle Kuzma this offseason, per Action Network’s Matt Moore. The teams are rumored to have discussed deals surrounding Kuzma since last summer.

Kings to Discuss Kyle Kuzma Trade

For the Kings, the motivation to acquire Kuzma is simple.

A go-to scorer with playmaking skills, he can lighten the load for De’Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis. He can also do damage from the perimeter, converting 39.1 percent of his career corner 3s. As he’s not the best off-ball threat, there will be some ‘my turn, your turn’ offense. Nonetheless, because of the way his passing ability can blend with Fox’s growth as a 3-point shooter and Sabonis’s three-level scoring, they’ll be comfortable putting the ball in his hands.

Zaccharie Risacher’s Importance

If the Wizards end up selecting 2024 NBA Draft prospect Zaccharie Risacher, Kuzma will likely become more attainable.

Washington already has three other starting-caliber forwards in their rotation in Deni Avdija, Corey Kispert, and Bilal Coulibaly. However, Risacher has their best parts of their skillset and few of their weaknesses. Furthermore, Kispert will be on the final year of his contract in 2024-25. Even more to the point, though Kispert is the most efficient 3-point threat among their forward rotation, he’s also the group’s worst defender. As a result, he’s likely regarded as expendable, especially if they can replace him with a player who has Risacher’s skillset.

Lastly, the French connection is obvious. In fact, Coulibaly has already talked up his countryman and potential teammate, saying Risacher’s “got a lot of talent.” If Coulibaly and Risacher are the Wizards’ future wings, their defense will help lift Washington into playoff contention.

The Deni Avdija Variable

None of that means that they’ll trade Kuzma. However, with Avdija’s growth in the back half of the 2023-24 season, he may have earned his spot as a full-time starter. After averaging 13.8 points per game prior to the All-Star Break, he averaged 17.1 points per game after it. Either mark would’ve been good enough for a career-high. With increased responsibility and continued development, the Wizards may transform him into a legitimate volume scorer.

What the Kings Are Offering

The Kings’ proposed trade package of Harrison Barnes, Kevin Huerter and draft compensation won’t make or break the roster, especially if they draft Risacher. However, there’s no doubt Sacramento would get the best offensive player. To that point, while Kuzma averaged 22.2 points and 4.2 assists per game last season, Barnes posted 12.2 points per game and Huerter finished with less than that (10.2 points per game). Furthermore, due to Barnes’ age (32), he could request a buyout to join a contender.

Essentially, Huerter is the only player guaranteed to have a part in their future affairs.

Kevin Huerter Helps, No Matter What

Whether Jordan Poole is able or ready to lead the team as their point guard is still unknown. At this point, he simply appears to be more comfortable and natural in a sixth man role. Conversely, Huerter’s off-ball shooting is ideal for a team that ranked 25th in 3-point percentage (.348) last season. A sharpshooter, Huerter has converted 38.2 percent of his 3s over the course of his career. Thus, he could start and dramatically improve the team’s play.

However, for argument’s sake, say Huerter comes off the bench behind Coulibaly.

A perimeter unit of Poole, Coulibaly, Risacher, and Avdija has plenty of shooting potential. Their ceiling is that much higher with Huerter coming in to spell Coulibaly, Risacher, or Avdija, who have all been streaky jump shooters throughout their basketball journey. Because of that trio’s positional flexibility, Huerter can slot in as the two-guard while the other two man the forward spots. That being said, though he could start, he’s a great safety net to have on the bench as well.

Ultimately, he helps the Wizards no matter what.


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