The Nets are taking a nine-game winning streak into Atlanta on Wednesday, with a chance for Brooklyn to jump ahead of the Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference standings. The Nets have had an incredible turnaround, but could a trade help bolster their roster to make a run at an NBA title, and is that move adding Kyle Kuzma?
It’s no secret that Kuzma is planning on declining the player option in his contract after this season and testing free agency. He told the Washington Post as much back in October.
That led to speculation the Wizards could try to move him, especially after going 14-21 so far this year, and NBA insider Marc Stein reported that there was a “rising belief” that Washington would move Kuzma before the NBA trade deadline. Though it seems that there could be some hesitancy to that with Michael Scotto of HoopsHype reporting that Kuzma was considered “a big part of the future” for the Wizards.
Still, the murmurs are surely enough to get Nets fans interested and the Brooklyn front office at least curious about what Kuzma could look like playing in Kings County.
Kuzma is in the midst of a breakout year despite Washington’s struggles, averaging a career-best 21.6 points per game and shooting 46.6% from the field, which is also a new benchmark for forward. It would be hard not to be intrigued to see how his offensive prowess would fit in with the Nets’ current lineup.
Particularly, the potential with Kuzma on the floor with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, who have been putting on a showcase in their last two games. The Nets could be looking at being one of the best offenses in the NBA with those three and Ben Simmons on the court.
The downside is that the Nets would likely need to include Nic Claxton in any deal with Washington and considering the lack of size the Nets have, that could create problems. Day’Ron Sharpe has shown he can play the center role, but he’s still young and developing his game.
Ben Simmons has the ability to play the position as well and has, but the Nets would still lack depth at center. Brooklyn could add another big via a trad or waiver wire, but that would need to be considered in any deal that would include Claxton departing Kings County.