Lakers News: Former LA Champ Reportedly Unavailable In Trade Talks

Other options abound.

Washington Wizards forward Kyle Kuzma has been enjoying a career year in D.C., and accordingly seems intent on declining his $13 million player option for the 2023-24 season and capitalizing on his prolific performances this year.

Through 49 games with the 24-26 Wizards, the 6’9″ ex-Laker is averaging 21.8 points on .457/.337/.707 shooting splits, 7.6 rebounds, and 3.9 assists.

Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports writes that Washington wanted, in part, to ship out Rui Hachimura to LA so that the team wouldn’t have to work out a restricted free agent contract with the now-Laker over the summer, hoping to earmark funds for Kuzma. The Wizards could also ink Kuzma to a contract extension, though as of this writing that has yet to happen.

Fischer reports that the Atlanta Hawks and Phoenix Suns are among the teams with interest in trading for Kuzma. He would be an excellent upgrade for your Los Angeles Lakers, the team that shipped him out to Washington in the first place. Kuzma’s money is an exact match for the contract of current Lakers starting “shooting” guard Patrick Beverley, who looks like the most expendable LA player when it comes to trades this year. 

Unfortunately, a reunion may have to wait until at least Kuzma hits free agency this summer. Fischer indicates that a source informs him the Wizards have told intrigued clubs that Kuzma is unavailable via trade.

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