Kyle Kuzma is coming back to Washington (at least for the foreseeable future). Per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Kuzma has agreed to a four-year, $102 million contract with the Wizards.
Free agent F Kyle Kuzma has agreed on a four-year, $102M deal to return to the Washington Wizards, co-head of @CAA_Basketball Austin Brown tells ESPN. Kuzma took a shorter deal with Lakers three years ago — and now cashes in after a career-year with Wizards. pic.twitter.com/Ox7TQDcb6z— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 30, 2023
Given this organization is still owned by Ted Leonsis who famously said, “We will never, ever tank,” it isn’t all that surprising to me that they would make what could be seen as a win-now move. Personally, I hope the front office is thinking of this as a way to “protect the asset.”
If there’s more demand for Kuzma later, they could always trade him out at that point and get value in return. Or if he’s clicking well with the current core and they’re competitive quickly, they could also decide to keep him. Given the value he provides to young players as a veteran mentor, having him around longer makes sense to me. At least in the short term.
There’s been a lot of talk about the Wizards wanting to use their cap space to take on bad contracts in exchange for assets. But they can also use their cap space to take on fair market value contracts like this and also flip those for assets. They should be able to do a bit of both moving forward.
Osman Baig and I broke down the Kuzma signing and Monte Morris trade on a special free agency edition of the Bleav in Wizards podcast.
What do you think of Kuzma returning and the terms of the deal?