The Washington Wizards’ decision to trade Bradley Beal to the Phoenix suns signaled that the franchise was hitting the “reset” button.
That means Kyle Kuzma and Kristaps Porzingis will likely be on the move as well. Whereas the latter has a $36 million player option that he will inevitably opt in to before being traded, the former will be opting out of his $13 million player option and become an unrestricted free agent.
At the moment, it seems like six teams have the inside track to nab Kuzma.
According to NBA insider Jake Weinbach, the Indiana Pacers, Houston Rockets, San Antonio Spurs, Sacramento Kings, Los Angeles Lakers and Utah Jazz are all in the hunt for his services.
The Pacers have been linked to Kuzma for some time. As reported by NBA insider Evan Massey, there is real interest there. With Myles Turner and Buddy Hield both likely being on the move, it seems like the organization wants to rebuild around young stars Tyrese Haliburton and Bennedict Mathurin.
Kuzma, who is just 27 years old, could be a perfect supplementary piece.
The Houston Rockets are another squad to keep an eye on.
“You can chalk up Kuzma as another forward who’s being connected of late to both Indiana and Houston as a potential free-agent target,” Jake Fischer of Yahoo! Sports reported this week.
With Ime Udoka taking the franchise over, the Rockets have already been linked to one blockbuster trade this week. Between that and James Harden’s possible return, Kuzma could slide in nicely as a volume scorer in Houston. Plus, unlike some of his other suitors, the Rockets have a ton of cash to pay him.
Kuzma has spoken quite fondly of Gregg Popovich in the past, so the San Antonio link is quite natural. The Spurs are going to get Victor Wembanyama in the 2023 NBA Draft, and there is a good chance they may acquire another star to pair with him.
This could provide Kuzma with the unique opportunity to get in on the ground floor of something special early on.
The Kings could also make some sense. Sacramento is a squad on the come-up in the West. Kuzma would provide them with instant offense and the championship experience they desperately needed in the first round last season against the Golden State Warriors.
Kuzma’s history with the Lakers is a matter of public record. He has spoken quite openly about how he feels regarding a possible return.
Finally, the Jazz have been linked to Kuzma for months now. Time will tell if anything ends up materializing there, as it feels like he would be more inclined to go with one of the other available options.
So far this offseason Kuzma has primarily been making headlines for his social media activity and intimate pictures with his girl.
The photos speak for themselves. https://t.co/TGyPHFXZmn
— Game 7 (@game7__) June 20, 2023
But soon he will opt out of his deal and the real work will begin.
Where will Kuzma ultimately be playing come the beginning of next season? Time will tell.