Report: Sacramento Kings remain interested in Kyle Kuzma

Feb 2, 2024, 11:26 AM | Updated: 11:30 am

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 15: Kyle Kuzma #33 of the Washington Wizards looks on against the Detroit ...

(Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

(Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

We are within a week of the NBA’s February 8th trade deadline, meaning the rumor mill is beginning to pick up steam.

One team that many around the league will be watching over the next week is the Sacramento Kings, who have been silent in the days leading into the deadline.

While Sacramento has kept things close to the vest regarding its trade deadline plans, one player they have been linked to for years appears to be on their radar for the rest of this season and beyond.

According to Yahoo! Sports’ Jake Fischer, the Kings remain connected to Washington Wizards forward Kyle Kuzma just months removed from coveting the wing during free agency.

More on Sacramento’s interest in Kyle Kuzma

Dallas and Sacramento remain the two teams connected by league figures to Washington forward Kyle Kuzma. Sacramento and Dallas both registered interest in Siakam and Grant, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

But aside from the Kuzma connection — the Kings have pursued Kuzma dating back to his Lakers days — Sacramento isn’t currently known to be pursuing other roster upgrades that would require parting with Harrison Barnes, sources said, and he could very well stick in Sacramento beyond the deadline.

Yahoo! Sports’ NBA insider Jake Fischer – February 2, 2024

Fischer’s report echoes The Athletic’s David Aldrige’s report from this week stating that Sacramento has coveted Kuzma this season–and for quite some time, as the Kings nearly acquired the 28-year-old from the Los Angeles Lakers during the 2021 offseason.

Kuzma, a 6’9, 220-pound forward, is averaging 22.0 points (career-high), 6.5 rebounds, and 4.3 assists per game on 45/33/80 shooting splits for a Wizards team that holds a 9-38 record on the year.

Sacramento has been in the market for another long wing, and Kuzma appears to be near the top of their list as a player to slot into a lineup that already includes De’Aaron Fox, Domantas Sabonis, and Keegan Murray.

The most appealing aspect of a potential Kuzma acquisition is his contract. The Kings are reportedly not interested in bringing on a big salary, and Kuzma’s declining-scale contract could fit in well with Sacramento’s current cap situation:

2023-24: $25.6 million

2024-25: $23.5 million

2025-26: $21.4 million

2026-27: $19. 4 million

With how the NBA salary cap continues to evolve each passing season, Kuzma’s contract could look like a bargain down the line if he continues to produce.

Of course, to acquire Kuzma, the Kings will need to match the salaries–and potentially part with draft compensation–to make a deal happen.

YouTube video

In Aldrige’s piece, he mentions that Washington’s reported asking price of two first-round picks is “overblown,” adding that the truth is “probably somewhere in the middle.”

Sacramento would likely have to offer a future first-round pick and a combination of Kevin Huerter and Trey Lyles to make the financials work in bringing back Kuzma.

General manager Monte McNair could find alternatives to moving Lyles, such as the combined salaries of Chris Duarte ($4 million) and Davion Mitchell ($5 million). The rebuilding Wizards could have a higher interest in Mitchell, who is 25 years old and fits Washington’s timeline.

Then, there’s the question of fit.

How will adding another scoring forward to the fold affect Keegan Murray’s development? That’s a valid question as Murray continues to show promise in his second NBA season. With Fischer reporting that the Kings are leaning towards keeping Harrison Barnes, this would indicate that Huerter would be the main piece going back in any deal for Kuzma.

If that happens, Sacramento could run a larger lineup of Fox, Murray, Barnes, Kuzma, Sabonis, as Mike Brown has previously mentioned that he believes Murray is capable of playing at the two-spot.

Murray is already picking up opposing teams’ point and shooting guards, and the Kings have a history with taking pages out of the Golden State Warriors’ book.

Could Sacramento run Murray at the two spot in similar fashion to how the Warriors have used Klay Thompson? With Murray standing at 6’8 and Thompson at 6’6, it could be worth a shot if the Kings do move Huerter in a deal for Kuzma.

The important question is this: Does acquiring Kyle Kuzma make Sacramento better?

This writer says yes. Sure, there are questions regarding Kuzma’s place in the offense. Yes, Kuzma isn’t known as a lock-down defender, but there is promise there–especially in comparison to Sacramento’s current in-house options.

Kuzma is a gifted scorer with great length, and somebody who has been a third-fourth option before during his NBA Finals run with the Lakers in 2020. The Kings are searching for another piece, and Kuzma is a player that can help without breaking the bank.

Will Kuzma finally become a King by February 8th? Time will tell, but the interest is certainly there.

When is the next Sacramento Kings game?

Sacramento’s seven-game road trip will continue on Friday night as De’Aaron Fox will come face-to-face with former teammate Tyrese Haliburton and the Indiana Pacers.

On January 18th, a Haliburton-less Pacers team defeated the Kings by a final of 126-121 at Golden 1 Center. Star forward Pascal Siakam was also inactive for Indiana, meaning Sacramento will have its hands even more full this time around.

Be sure to tune in right here on Sactown Sports 1140 for all of your Kings vs. Pacers coverage, beginning at 3:00 PM PST on Game Night before a 4:30 PM PST tip-off from Indianapolis.

Preview: Kings look to get back on track against Pacers

Upcoming Schedule

  • Friday, February 2nd – Sacramento Kings @ Indiana Pacers – 4:30 PM PST
  • Saturday, February 3rd – Sacramento Kings @ Chicago Bulls – 5:00 PM PST
  • Monday, February 5th – Sacramento Kings @ Cleveland Cavaliers – 4:00 PM PST
  • Wednesday, February 7th – Sacramento Kings vs. Detroit Pistons – 7:00 PM PST
  • Friday, February 9th – Sacramento Kings vs. Denver Nuggets – 7:00 PM PST

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