Oh, and there’s also Thursday night’s NBA Draft. Washington has a “lottery pick” with the eighth selection and a pair of late second-round picks to begin what appears to be a full reset of the Wizards NBA roster.
Kyle Kuzma Opts Out of 2023-2024 Contract
As reported by ESPN analyst Adrian Wojnarowski, Kyle Kuzma is planning to opt out of his contract with the Washington Wizards, giving him the opportunity to become an unrestricted free agent this summer. Kuzma, who was acquired by the Wizards in a trade with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2021, had a solid season in Washington, averaging 21.2 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 3.7 assists per game.
ESPN Sources: As expected, Washington Wizards forward Kyle Kuzma has declined his $13 million player option and become a free agent. Kuzma will be one of the marketplace’s most prominent players. A return to Washington on a new deal remains a possibility.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 20, 2023
Here are some additional details about Kuzma’s decision to opt out:
- Kuzma has until June 29 to decide whether to opt in or out of his contract.
- If Kuzma opts out, he will become an unrestricted free agent and can sign with any team.
- Kuzma is reportedly looking for a contract that pays him around $20 million annually.
- Some of the teams that have been linked to Kuzma include the New York Knicks, the Los Angeles Clippers and Los Angeles Lakers, and the Boston Celtics.
This doesn’t rule out the possibility of Kuzma re-signing with Washington, nor does it prevent the Wizards from attempting a sign-and-trade deal. After having the best 1.5 seasons of his career in Washington, Kuzma will have plenty of suitors.
What’s Going on with Kristaps Porzingis?
Kristaps Porzingis has been traded to the Boston Celtics as part of a three-team deal that included the Memphis Grizzlies. Washington received Grizzlies guard Tyus Jones, as well as Celtics forwards Danilo Gallinari and Mike Muscala, and a second-round 2023 pick (No. 35). Memphis received Celtics guard Marcus Smart.
— Stanford Steve (@StanfordSteve82) June 22, 2023
Porzingis is coming off a career year for Washington; the former New York Knicks lottery pick averaged career highs in points (23.2) and 8.5 caroms while knocking down 49% from the floor and a robust 38.5 percent from downtown during his final season with the Wizards.
Latest Chris Paul Buzz
Paul was acquired earlier in the week in the Beal trade. It’s unlikely Paul will ever wear a Wizards jersey, and there are all sorts of rumors swirling.ESPN reporter Brian Windhorst claims Washington is in talks with the Los Angeles Clippers, but Dawkins has options as Paul is under contract until the end of the 2025 season.
Chris Paul and the Clippers have mutual interest in reuniting, per @WindhorstESPN:
– Clippers, not the Lakers, are favorites to acquire Paul.
– Wizards and Clippers already in discussions on potential CP3 trade package.
– Another team could become involved to help take on… pic.twitter.com/y6O6lvYmwW
— Evan Sidery (@esidery) June 20, 2023
Wizards NBA Draft Rumors
Washington has the eighth and 30th picks in the draft, and this is where Dixon is looking to hit a home run with the eighth pick and obtain a player who can contribute immediately. There are several names linked to the Wizards, including;
- Jarace Walker: The former Houston Cougars forward is the consensus selection amongst the mock draft crowd. He ended his frosh campaign at Houston with a stat line of 11.2 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 1.8 assists. Walker is a solid defender and decent shooter from long range who patterned his game after Celtics forward Jayson Tatum.
- Anthony Black: The Arkansas Razorback freshman could hear his name called Thursday night. The speedy guard averaged 2.1 steals and stuffed the Razorbacks’ stat sheet, averaging 12.8 points, 5.1 caroms, and 3.8 assists. His shooting from beyond the arc is shaky, but he could provide an immediate impact if Washington does indeed draft him.
- Grady Dick: The Kansas freshman is another player Washington could select with the 8th pick. Dick is a terrific shooter from inside and outside the arc and a willing passer, but his defense will need plenty of work. Dick averaged 14.1 points, 5.1 boards, and 1.7 dimes during his frosh season at Kansas.
The 2023 NBA Draft takes place Thursday at 8:00 pm. ABC/ESPN will televise the first round, while ESPN will televise the full event live beginning at 7:00 pm.