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Wizards predictions for 2024: Kyle Kuzma will be in Washington for the year

Every team, even rebuilding ones need consistent veteran players. Kuzma fits the bill and will be that guy for the Wizards. And that isn’t a bad thing!

NBA-Charlotte Hornets @ Washington Wizards
Kyle Kuzma may never be an All-NBA player. But he has embraced being a Wizard and has embraced being in Washington. Isn’t that what we want from someone on this team right now?
Photo by Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post via Getty Images

The 2023 calendar year is almost over. So that gives me an opportunity to put out some predictions for the year ahead. In this prediction, I’ll have a hot take on the Wizards’ most consistent player.

Prediction: Kyle Kuzma stays a Wizard for all of 2024 and will be here for the rebuild

Why: Every team needs veteran leadership from somewhere in the locker room. That player is often among the best player on the team, but it doesn’t have to be.

In this era of the NBA where teams ultimately have to spend big bucks on a player due to very high minimum salary floors, it’s imperative that each NBA team have a player who is signed to a big salary. In an ideal world, that player would also be an All-Star or even an All-NBA player. But for a rebuilding team like the Wizards, that player should at least be a happy ambassador for the city.

The Wizards don’t have anyone who will be an All-NBA player. It’s unlikely that they will have an All-Star for the forseeable future. But at least they have a player who plays consistent basketball each and every game, and a player who is happy to be in D.C.

That player is Kyle Kuzma.

Kuzma could have re-signed with another contending team this past offseason when Will Dawkins became the new General Manager and Michael Winger became Monumental Basketball’s President. However he re-signed a four-year, $102 million contract with Washington.

The Wizards are starting to do some things that align with his interests, like a preseason fashion show. And Kuzma is en route to his second consecutive 20 point per game season. In more detail, he is averaging 22.5 points, 6.1 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game so far. Not bad stats.

And better yet, Kuzma isn’t a regular on Shaqtin’ a Fool! While that Belgian pink sweater by Raf Simons was hideous (except to him and his stans), Kuzma has produced consistently on the court and has been a positive influence for the Wizards’ young players this season.

That’s really all we can ask for in this season where we’re looking for the little victories off the court. If Kuzma is giving us these things in a rebuilding year, it certainly doesn’t hurt to see the Wizards keep him for all of 2024. And I think that General Manager Will Dawkins and Monumental Basketball President Michael Winger will.

No one is going to say that Kyle Kuzma is the Wizards’ franchise player unless you’re a fashionista or Raf Simons himself. But Kuzma is still a strong player in his own right. The Wizards are certainly are happy that he is ready to be a leader on the court for a young team that looks to contend in the future. And finally, in an ideal world, Kuz will still be there to see this process through. Wouldn’t you be happy to see Kuz hold up a second NBA championship trophy, AS A WIZARD?

Why not? The NBA trade machine.

The haves in the NBA will look to do anything to make the have nots, like the Wizards be have nots for all of eternity. If a contending team gives an offer to the Wizards that they can’t refuse, it’s possible that Kuzma may be gone as early as this February. And we shouldn’t be surprised to see Kuzma back in the rumor mill this summer.

Why I don’t think Kuzma goes DESPITE chatter. We see the best players on “have not” teams be candidates for a poaching time and time again during the trade deadline and free agency.

But these poachings don’t happen most of the time for a reason. In the past, that may be because teams are risk averse. But in today’s era of NINE DIGIT minimum salary floors, teams also know that they have to pay SOMEBODY big bucks, and keep him content at the same time. Since Kuzma is that guy for the Wizards, I don’t see the front office giving him to the Lakers, his old team for 10 or 100 or 1,000 packs of Bibigo bibimbap bowls or frozen mandus (Korean wontons).

Bibigo is the Lakers’ jersey sponsor. I did not get any money to mention that.

And to BibigoUSA, the American branch, please don’t offer 10,000, 100,000 or 1 million bibimbap bowls or mandu packs via the Lakers for Kuzma. Perhaps Dawkins and Winger prefer to get fresh ones in Annandale and Centreville, Va. the DMV’s Koreatowns in Fairfax County!

Joking aside……

Teams need to show loyalty to someone within reason, and I think Kuzma hits all the right boxes. He is happy to be a leader here, he still has positive equity among NBA fans because of his contributions to the Lakers’ 2019-20 championship team and he is getting a good salary. As long as he isn’t becoming a goofball on the court, I’d rather see the Wizards and Kuzma see this rebuild through. They payoff will be so much bigger and sweeter in the end.

Like a fresh bibimbap bowl or some steamed mandu at a restaurant instead of a processed one from the supermarket.

Do you see Kuzma spending all of 2024 as a Wizards player? And how sweet would it be to see him as a Wizard when they are finally contending again? (Let’s be positive here!) Let us know in the comments below.