The Washington Wizards have multiple pieces that could be moved ahead of the Feb. 9 trade deadline, but one player on the team is reportedly more coveted than others.
According to The Athletic's Shams Charania and Josh Robbins, the Wizards have "received interest from multiple teams" on potential trades involving power forward Kyle Kuzma.
In addition to listening to offers for Kuzma, Washington reportedly is also engaged in trade discussions with multiple teams regarding fourth-year forward Rui Hachimura. The Wizards appear to be more inclined to trade him away in hopes of retaining Kuzma.
Robbins reported in December that Kuzma will not sign an extension during the season and he is expected to decline his $13 million player option for 2023-24 to test the market as an unrestricted free agent.
However, Charania and Robbins noted that "team officials value Kuzma highly and would like to re-sign him over the summer." Moving Hachimura would signify that the team is confident the six-year veteran will stay put in Washington.
Kuzma is averaging a career-high 21.7 points while adding 7.5 rebounds and 3.9 assists in his expanded role with the Wizards this season. The 27-year-old is solidified as the team's starting power forward, leaving Hachimura competing for minutes behind him with second-year wing Deni Avdija.
While Kuzma in enjoying a career year, Washington has struggled to stay afloat and currently is outside of play-in tournament eligibility with an 18-26 record. The Wizards have lost five of their last six games and are on track to miss the playoffs for the fourth time in the last five years.
Recouping assets in a trade might be the best path forward for Washington, but it's clear that Kuzma would be the player the team needs to move to earn the biggest return.