Kyle Kuzma entered free agency after declining his player option in Washington and proceeded to watch as the Wizards began a complete teardown, trading Bradley Beal and Kristaps Porzingis to clear the slate for the future.
Kuzma, who averaged 21.2 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 3.7 assists per game last season, had initially been expected to consider a return to Washington on a long-term deal, but with their change of course to a rebuild, he figured to take at least a look at his other options. There figured to be few forwards on the market better capable of providing a secondary scoring punch for a team in need of that than Kuzma, and with plenty of the teams with open cap space looking to take a step forward next season as well as sign-and-trade possibilities to contenders, there were a number of potential destinations.
However, as free agency approached a number of potential destinations used their cap space up in trades, and Kuzma ended up circling back to the Wizards who re-signed the forward to a 4-year, $102 million deal.
Free agent F Kyle Kuzma has agreed on a four-year, $102M deal to return to the Washington Wizards, co-head of @CAA_Basketball Austin Brown tells ESPN. Kuzma took a shorter deal with Lakers three years ago — and now cashes in after a career-year with Wizards. pic.twitter.com/Ox7TQDcb6z
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 30, 2023
It’s a strong contract for Kuzma, who cashes in on another solid season in Washington and gives the Wizards a veteran presence. He will now slot in alongside Jordan Poole as the expected scoring leaders in Washington, and could become a trade asset down the line should Washington’s rebuild call for it.