With Washington considering Bradley Beal trades and potentially entering a rebuild, veteran forward Kyle Kuzma could be an option for the Houston Rockets in the NBA’s 2023 free agency period, according to national reporter Jake Fischer of Yahoo! Sports.
Now 27 years old, the 6-foot-9 Kuzma averaged 21.2 points (44.8% FG, 33.3% on 3-pointers), 7.2 rebounds, and 3.7 assists in 35.0 minutes per game with the Wizards last season.
In his latest column, Fischer writes:
There no longer appears a pathway for the Suns to bring in Kyle Kuzma, whom Phoenix has targeted for several seasons, sources said. Kuzma has said he intends to decline his $13 million player option for 2023-24 to test free agency. You can chalk up Kuzma as another forward who’s being connected of late to both Indiana and Houston as a potential free-agent target.
It’s worth noting that with a massive figure of approximately $60 million in salary cap flexibility, agents around the NBA could easily leverage the potential threat of Houston as a 2023 suitor in order for their client to get a better financial deal somewhere else.
In the case of Kuzma, it’s hard to see exactly where he would fit with the Rockets. Houston already has a crowded forward rotation between Jabari Smith Jr., Tari Eason, KJ Martin, and Jae’Sean Tate. There’s also the potential of drafting a forward such as Alabama’s Brandon Miller or Villanova’s Cam Whitmore at No. 4 in the 2023 first round, and Memphis veteran Dillon Brooks has frequently been rumored as a free agency possibility, as well.
So, it’s certainly possible that Houston’s connection to Kuzma could be for leverage purposes. Nonetheless, with such a significant amount of cap space, it shouldn’t be ruled out — especially if Kuzma’s former team, Washington, enters into a youth-driven rebuild and thus becomes less likely to use its Bird rights to retain veterans.
Free agency negotiations can officially begin on Friday, June 30.
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Source: Yahoo Sports