During his recent interview with Bleacher Report’s Taylor Rooks, Draymond Green made headlines with statements regarding his future with the Golden State Warriors. Not so much because he said anything outlandish or controversial, rather because it was coming from someone who has spent more than a decade in the Bay and won four NBA championships in gold and blue.
“Quite frankly, the writing is on the wall,” Green said when asked about his Dubs tenure eventually ending.
Indeed, at age 32 (almost 33), Green’s best days are behind him. That, combined with rumors that he’s seeking one last, big payday in the league and the lingering weirdness from his training camp scuffle with Jordan Poole, could mean that his run with Golden State is nearing its end.
With that being the case — and the Warriors roster likely needing more for a successful title defense — the time to deal Draymond for a quality piece may be upon us. To that end, we’re pitching a trade for one of the team’s recent opponents in Washington Wizards forward Kyle Kuzma.
Trade Proposal Nets a Pair of Playoff-Tested Vets in Kyle Kuzma & Will Barton
Even in one of his worst performances of the year against the Warriors — who beat the Wizards 127-118 on Monday — Kuzma’s jack-of-all-trades game shined through. In 40 minutes of play, the baller scored 16 points, grabbed 11 boards and dished out five assists.
Really, he has everything the Warriors need right now — someone with size, at least some shooting ability, passing and a semblance of defensive fortitude. So, in order to get him to San Fran, we’re rolling with the following proposal:
- Golden State Warriors receive F Kyle Kuzma and G Will Barton
- Washington Wizards receive F/C Draymond Green and G/F Moses Moody
Make no mistake — going from Green to Kuzma defensively is a big drop-off. However, the latter has grown considerably on that end since his fledgling days with the Los Angeles Lakers. And he solves a big problem on the other end as the Dubs are now — as NBC Sports Bay Area‘s Monte Poole has astutely pointed out — “out of step with the current NBA” by starting two non-shooters.
In that regard, Kuzma makes for a much better frontcourt partner to Kevon Looney, who almost certainly has more games left to play for the Warriors than Green. He’s also a player who can help take some of the pressure off of Stephen Curry. This season, he’s putting up a cool 21.7 points, 7.4 boards and nearly four assists per contest.
Barton, meanwhile, has at least a fighting chance of doing something that Moody has rarely been able to in 2022-23 — get off the bench and onto the court.
Why Would the Wizards Trade Kuzma?
While the Wizards have been, well… less woeful so far this season than in years past (at 18-26), Kuzma’s play has really been one of the few things fans in DC can get excited about. It’s hard to get too excited, though, when he has indicated that he likely won’t be extending with the team.
And who can blame him? As it stands, Kuzma has a $13-million player option on his deal for 2023-24 and an opportunity to extend for a modest raise. However, his market value likely falls in the $20-25 (or more) million range, so the smart money is on him declining the option and hitting unrestricted free agency.
As such, the Wizards should cash out on him now and Green is a player you can possibly sell to Bradley Beal as evidence of your commitment to building a winner. Meanwhile, the Draymond bet is hedged with a nice prospect in Moody.