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NBA Trade Rumors: Wizards' Kyle Kuzma Interests Hawks, Suns Ahead of Deadline

Adam WellsDecember 6, 2022

CHARLOTTE, NC - DECEMBER 2: Kyle Kuzma #33 of the Washington Wizards looks on before the game against the Charlotte Hornets on December 2, 2022 at Spectrum Center in Charlotte, North Carolina. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2022 NBAE (Photo by Kent Smith/NBAE via Getty Images)
Kent Smith/NBAE via Getty Images

Having lost six of their last seven games and fallen to 10th place in the Eastern Conference, the Washington Wizards could have some big decisions to make looking ahead to the NBA trade deadline on Feb. 9.

Per Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium, Kyle Kuzma has caught the attention of several teams, including the Atlanta Hawks and Phoenix Suns, if Washington decides to move on from the 27-year-old forward.

There have been rumblings about widespread interest in Kuzma for some time. ESPN's Brian Windhorst reported on his podcast last week (starts at 47:40 mark) that executives on opposing teams have heard "they're trying to get Kuzma out of Washington."

Charania reported last month the Suns have expressed interest in multiple forwards, including Kuzma, Harrison Barnes and KJ Martin.

Phoenix continues to be in the market for another shooter as it explores trades involving Jae Crowder.

The Hawks have a potential trade chip to dangle in front of Washington if they want to go after Kuzma. John Collins has seemingly been on the block for years, but he remains in Atlanta for the time being.

According to Charania, the Wizards "have shown interest" in Collins and they "seriously discussed a potential deal" for the 25-year-old last offseason.

Wizards general manager Tommy Sheppard told Charania that Kuzma "has so much more room to grow" as a player and "we’re really excited for his future growth here."

Kuzma's contract pays him $13 million this season and includes a $13 million player option for 2023-24. He is averaging career highs in scoring average (20.6 points per game), rebounds (7.7) and assists (3.6) in 23 starts.

This marks the second consecutive season the Wizards have fallen off after a hot start. They were 10-3 through 13 games in 2021-22 but finished 25-44 over their final 69 games to miss the playoffs.

Washington was 10-7 after a 106-102 win over the Charlotte Hornets on Nov. 20. The team is now 11-13 overall in the midst of its recent rough stretch.

The Wizards haven't made the playoffs in three of the previous four seasons. They haven't won a postseason series since the 2016-17 season.