SACRAMENTO KINGS

Report: Kyle Kuzma to be made available via trade this summer

May 24, 2024, 11:23 AM

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 21: Kyle Kuzma #33 of the Washington Wizards looks on against the Sacramento...

(Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

(Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

The Sacramento Kings have been linked to Kyle Kuzma several times over the past two seasons.

During the 2021 offseason, the Kings were on the verge of acquiring Kuzma from the Los Angeles Lakers in a deal that would have sent Buddy Hield out of Sacramento, but the Washington Wizards swooped in and offered Russell Westbrook to nix the deal at the last second.

This past trade deadline, the Kings–among many teams–checked in on Kuzma’s availability but balked at the asking price of two first-round picks.

Sacramento could be in play for the soon-to-be 29-year-old once again this summer, as Yahoo! Sports’ Jake Fischer reported this week that Washington is expected to make Kuzma available on the trade market:

Kyle Kuzma will be another advanced wing player on the trade market, although Washington’s asking price for the veteran scorer prior to February’s trade deadline was too rich for most rival teams

Yahoo! Sports’ Jake Fischer – May 23, 2024

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Does Kyle Kuzma make sense for the Sacramento Kings?

From an age and financial standpoint, acquiring Kuzma would make sense for the Kings.

Kuzma will enter next season at 29 years old and has a declining-scale contract through the 2026-27 season. The forward will make $23.5 million in 2024-25, $21.4 million in 2025-26, and $19.4 million in 2026-27.

Harrison Barnes, who will turn 32 on May 30th, is currently on Sacramento’s books for $18 million in 2024-25 and $19 million in 2025-26. There is little question that the Kings need to upgrade one of their starting spots, and all eyes are on Barnes’ spot in the lineup.

Adding Kuzma to Sacramento’s core of De’Aaron Fox, Domantas Sabonis, and Keegan Murray would add a consistent scorer, something that could alleviate pressures on Fox and the still developing Murray to carry the bulk of the Kings’ scoring load.

Over 70 games in 2023-24, Kuzma averaged 22.2 points, 6.6 rebounds, and a career-high 4.2 assists per game on 46/33/77 shooting splits. The veteran wing was one of just 12 NBA players to average 20-6-4 or better this season, although his 0.2 win shares ranked last of the group due to Washington’s poor place in the standings (15-67).

(Stathead)

Kuzma’s interchangeability at the forward spots, his 6’9 frame, and ability to score in bunches make him an intriguing possibility for Sacramento if general manager Monte McNair opts to make another run at the Utah product.

As far as concerns go, it’s fair to question how the addition of Kuzma would affect Murray’s offensive growth. In his second NBA season, Murray took steps forward on the defensive end and increased his volume on offense, but Kuzma’s potential arrival could move the former fourth-overall pick back into a more selective role–similar to his rookie season, where he attempted 9.8 field goal attempts per game.

In 2023-24, Murray attempted 12.7 field goal attempts per game, including 6.6. three-pointers. Kuzma averaged 18.8 field goal attempts (would have been second on this season’s Kings team) and 6.4 three-pointers per contest.

Would adding Kuzma to Sacramento’s roster impact Murray? Possibly. But the fact is that the Kings will need to make a swing at some point to maximize the potential of this Fox-Sabonis-Murray core.

Is Kyle Kuzma a player that would move the needle? Maybe. Maybe not. If the asking price is still two first round picks, it’s unlikely conversations move forward as McNair and the Sacramento front office will surely look for a larger haul if they are to part with multiple picks.

As far as questioning Kuzma’s openness to joining the Kings, the forward said he was ready to head to Sacramento before the 2021 deal fell through.

“Going to Sac would have been fun,” Kuzma said in a 2021 interview with NBC Sports’ Dalton Johnson. “I would have went crazy for sure. That’s how I think.”

Adding a scorer at the level of Kuzma would benefit the Kings, although there are questions regarding his impact on the defensive end.

Sacramento could aim higher than Kuzma as they look to upgrade its roster and get back into the NBA Playoffs, but if the asking price has dropped, it wouldn’t be surprising to see McNair pick up the phone and dial up Washington to see if a deal is possible.

When is the next NBA off-season date of interest?

The NBA Draft is now a two-night event.

Wednesday, June 26th, will act as the first night of the 2024 NBA Draft, where the Sacramento Kings will make their first-round selection (13th). The second round of the draft will be held on Thursday, June 27th, where the Kings will use its 45th overall pick.

Sacramento hasn’t had a first-round pick since 2022, when it selected Iowa product Keegan Murray with the fourth overall pick.

Stay locked into Sactown Sports for all of your Kings draft coverage, including player profiles, reports regarding pre-draft workouts, draft night coverage, and much more.

NBA Offseason Schedule

  • Wednesday, June 26-Thursday, June 27th – 2024 NBA Draft
  • Sunday, June 30th – Free Agent negotiating window opens (3 PM PST)
  • Saturday, July 6th – Free Agents can officially sign contracts
  • July 12-22nd – Las Vegas Summer League
  • July 27-August 11th – 2024 Olympic Games
  • Friday, September 27th – NBA training camps begin

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Report: Kyle Kuzma to be made available via trade this summer