Kyle Kuzma will have a decision to make when the Wizards’ 2022-23 season ends. The forward is set to become a free agent, meaning he’ll get a chance to shop his talents around the NBA in hopes of landing a new contract.
Kuzma has put those talents on full display this year, notching career highs in scoring and assists. He only anticipates those numbers getting better with age.
The Washington star broke down his pending decision in a recent interview with NBC, and there’s one area where the Wizards could stand out above other organizations.
Kuzma should get a hefty offer this coming offseason, and one that will blow his current annual salary out of the water. He’s set to earn around $13 million next year on a player option, but many expect him to turn that option down as he pursues something greater.
The former Laker was traded to Washington ahead of the 2021 season, and he’s quickly found a home in the nation’s capital. Not only has he become the team’s most steady contributor, but he also enjoys the city in which he currently lives.
“It’s central and it’s low-key and chill. I love where I live. People are not really bothering me too much. It’s an easy pace of life out here, it’s nice.”
Washington will hope to re-sign him, though they’ll certainly have to battle other suitors in order to keep him in DC. Luckily for them, the Wizards could have a leg up on the competition in one key area.
When asked about future dealings, Kyle Kuzma made an interesting comment about something non-basketball related. Travel.
Kuzma loves how he can fairly quickly fly home to see family in Michigan, to Miami where he has a house or even to Europe or the Caribbean for vacation.
The desire to travel easily both in and outside of the US is important. And the locations mentioned could all but eliminate both small market teams and suitors on the West Coast.
As of now, he’s able to get to both Michigan, where his family lives, and Florida, where he has a home, in about 2 hours time. The desire to hit the Caribbean and Europe would be made much easier living on the East Coast, as well.
With DC located midway up the Atlantic Coast, staying with the Wizards would certainly make sense. Of course, other major hubs like New York and Atlanta would fit the bill, too.
With that being said, he fully plans on seeking all possible options.
“I have the opportunity to go through that process, go through team pitches and go through the backend of being a free agent and learning and getting to know different people. At the end of the day, in this league, people move all the time, whether that’s coaches, GMs, players, staffs, front office people. You may end up at a new place and you never know who you’re going to cross paths with. Everything is energy.”
While everything is still on the table in the negotiation process, if Kyle Kuzma values those travel desires as much as he leads on, Washington could just hold on to their superstar.
That would be a huge win for the Wizards as they look to ascend up the Eastern Conference standings.