Kyle Kuzma Rumors: Timberwolves Interested If Wizards Move Forward After Lakers Deal

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVAugust 2, 2021

Los Angeles Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma (0) dribbles the ball during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Washington Wizards, Wednesday, April 28, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
AP Photo/Nick Wass

The Minnesota Timberwolves remain interested in acquiring Kyle Kumza even though he's being included in a reported trade between the Los Angeles and Washington Wizards.

According to The Athletic's Jon Krawczynski, president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas "has maintained strong interest in Kuzma for a while now."

If the Wizards made the 26-year-old available, Minnesota may look to bring him aboard.

Bleacher Report's Eric Pincus reported July 29 that the Wizards "highly value" Kentavious Caldwell-Pope but might be more indifferent on Kuzma and Montrezl Harrell.

Rui Hachimura is averaging 30.9 minutes per game through his first two years, and he'll presumably remain the starting power forward in 2021-22. Washington also used a lottery pick on Deni Avdija last year and selected Corey Kispert 15th overall in the 2021 NBA draft, which would seem to rule out a lot of playing time at the 3 for Kuzma.

Minnesota's frontcourt, on the other hand, is a little less settled.

The Timberwolves need to add a proven power forward alongside Karl-Anthony Towns. While Jaden McDaniels showed promise as a rookie, the team can't wait on him to continue developing in a starting role if it hopes to make a playoff push this upcoming season.

Kuzma averaged 12.9 points and 6.1 rebounds while shooting 36.1 percent from beyond the arc in 2020-21. He also held opponents to 29.7 percent shooting on three-pointers, per NBA.com. That type of perimeter defense was sorely lacking on a Wolves squad that ranked last in opponent three-point percentage (39.2).

It isn't clear that Kuzma is even on the trade block. The Wizards will have postseason ambitions of their own as long as Bradley Beal is under contract, so they might be looking for him to help with that during the upcoming season.

In that case, Rosas will have to consider other options to bolster Minnesota's frontcourt.