The NBA free agency negotiating period begins on June 30 at 6 p.m. ET with moves becoming official six days later on July 6. Here is a rundown of this year’s free-agent class of wings as the Wizards continue to rework their roster:
Kuzma among top free-agent wings
The Wizards have already traded Bradley Beal and Kristaps Porzingis, as they overhaul their roster under the direction of a new front office led by Monumental Basketball president Michael Winger and general manager Will Dawkins. That leaves Kyle Kuzma as the last member of the core three to decide on. Kuzma has opted out of the final year of his contract to test free agency and is expected to be among the most sought-after players at his position.
Exactly what his position is might be up for debate because he is uniquely versatile at 6-foot-10, but for the sake of his exercise let’s put him in the category of free-agent wings. He is among the best wings available in a class that also includes three-time All-Star Khris Middleton, who recently opted out of his own contract with the Bucks but could very well return to Milwaukee where he won a championship in 2021.
Along with Kuzma and Middleton, this year’s free agent wings also include Jerami Grant (Blazers), Cam Johnson (Nets), Harrison Barnes (Kings), Josh Hart (Knicks), Dillon Brooks (Grizzlies) and former Wizards first-round pick Rui Hachimura (Lakers).
Wizards’ decisions to make
Kuzma is the one free-agent wing for the Wizards this summer. They will have to determine whether to re-sign him on a new contract, orchestrate a sign-and-trade with another team or let him walk in free agency. Kuzma, 27, is coming off a career year in which he averaged 21.2 points, 7.2 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game.
It’s hard to tell whether the Wizards could use more help at wing given they just drafted Bilal Coulibaly seventh overall. He considers himself a guard but could conceivably spend some time playing at wing as he develops his offensive skillset. They also have recent first-round picks Deni Avdija and Corey Kispert at the position. If the development of young players becomes the ultimate goal in a rebuild, then the allotment of minutes for those three will likely be prioritized.
After the aforementioned names, there are some other wings that could help teams and are expected to be available in free agency. They include former Wizards first-round pick Kelly Oubre Jr. (Hornets), K.J. Martin (Rockets), Matisse Thybulle (Blazers), Jalen McDaniels (Sixers), Talen Horton-Tucker (Jazz), Torrey Craig (Suns) and Yuta Watanabe (Nets).
There is also a group of veteran role players at wing who could make sense for contenders seeking experienced bench help or maybe even younger teams looking for someone to set the example. Those players include Joe Ingles (Bucks), Jeff Green (Nuggets), Terrence Ross (Suns) and Jae Crowder (Bucks). Finally, there are some young wings who were first-round picks not long ago who could present upside as they move into their primes like Troy Brown Jr. (Lakers), a former Wizards draft pick, and Cam Reddish (Blazers).
If the Wizards lean fully into a rebuild following the departure of Beal and Porzingis, that could be something to watch out for, whether it be with wings or players at other positions. Giving recent top prospects a second chance and change of scenery is a common tactic for rebuilding teams. The Detroit Pistons have made a habit out of it recently by bringing in players like Marvin Bagley III, Josh Jackson and Jahlil Okafor.
Source: Yahoo Sports