Kyle Kuzma, who has a player option for the 2023-24 season, is expected to opt out and become an unrestricted free agent. The Lakers, Indiana Pacers, Houston Rockets, San Antonio Spurs, Sacramento Kings, and Utah Jazz are all potential suitors for Kuzma this offseason. Kuzma spent the first four seasons of his NBA career with the Lakers, winning a title with the team in the 2019-20 season. He was dealt to Washington as part of the deal that sent Russell Westbrook to the Lakers.
During the 2022-23 season, Kuzma averaged a career-high 21.2 points per game while shooting 44.8 percent from the field and 33.3 percent from beyond the arc. With Bradley Beal appearing in just 50 games for the Wizards, Kuzma had a lot of chances to lead the team’s offense alongside Kristaps Porzingis. However, the Lakers would likely have to work a sign-and-trade to bring in Kuzma, since they don’t have the cap space to sign him outright at the contract he could command in the open market.
If the Lakers find a way to bring Kuzma back, they could play him in the frontcourt alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis in the starting lineup. However, the issue for the Lakers would be teams like Houston and San Antonio that have cap space to sign Kuzma to a bigger contract outright without the help of a sign-and-trade. Los Angeles would have to find pieces and likely draft capital that are valuable to the Wizards to orchestrate a deal for the former Lakers forward.
In conclusion, Kyle Kuzma is expected to decline his player option with the Wizards and become an unrestricted free agent this offseason. The Lakers are exploring their options to improve in the offseason after making the Western Conference Finals in the 2022-23 campaign. Kuzma could be a valuable addition to the Lakers’ frontcourt, but they would likely have to work a sign-and-trade to bring him back. Other teams like Houston and San Antonio could also be potential suitors for Kuzma in the open market.
Keywords: Kyle Kuzma, Lakers, Wizards, NBA, free agency, sign-and-trade, frontcourt, Western Conference Finals.
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