This October an NBA Executive told Heavy Sports that the Washington Wizards could potentially be looking to trade their star forward Kyle Kuzma, and an NBA Insider identified the Miami Heat as a potential landing spot if the Wizards did deal their star forward. Kuzma was acquired by Washington in 2021 when the Los Angeles Lakers traded for Russell Westbrook.
The 27-year-old forward is having a solid year for the Wizards averaging 20.7 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 3.6 assists. The October report that linked Kuzma to Miami speculated that it would be as part of Washington’s effort to accelerate their rebuild. On December 10, reporting from Bleacher Reports’ Eric Pincus stated that Kuzma could also be looking for a way out of Washington, what he wants in his next contract, and his desire to land in a big market somewhere else.
“He [Kuzma] wants out,” an NBA source said. “He’s looking for over $20 million a season and in a big market [or with a contender].”
Kuzma’s skills could stack up nicely next to Heat center Bam Adebayo both offensively and defensively. It would also give the Heat added versatility. With both Adebayo and Kuzma, they could easily defend all five positions with size and speed. In Early December another league executive stated that the Heat had some frustration with Adebayo’s lack of consistency offensively, and having Kuzma could take some of the pressure off of Adebayo and Jimmy Butler.
Past Kyle Kuzma Whispers for Miami Heat
In October, an Eastern Conference Executive told Heavy Sports that the Heat is still looking to address their holes at the big man position.
“They have known they have a hole there, and the first option was always, ‘Let’s see if we can fix it from within.’ They’re trying that with (Caleb) Martin, but that might be asking too much of him. Martin could wind up being a key to it because they can’t trade him until January because he just signed, but he has some value. They’ve tried to see what’s there for Duncan Robinson, but there really is not much of a market unless you get a team willing to play him for a year and try to flip his contract next summer. They tried with Phoenix for Jae Crowder, but Phoenix did not want Robinson,” an Eastern Conference Executive told Deveney.
That led Deveney to the Wizards, who he believes are looking to deal Kuzma and fast-track their rebuild. Which led him to propose a deal of his own.
Proposed Kyle Kuzma to Miami Trade
Looking at the Wizards likely approaching a rebuild, Deveney looked at the Heat’s roster and identified a trade that could likely work for both sides.
Miami Heat Receive: Kyle Kuzma and Taj Gibson
Washington Wizards Receive: Duncan Robinson and a first-round pick (2027)
But why would the Wizards do this? It feels like a lopsided deal, especially with the role Robinson has played for nearly a year now for the Heat.
“The Wizards have been loathe to rebuild as long as they have Bradley Beal on the roster, and perhaps that will continue. But should they begin looking to the future, Kuzma would find himself on the block. He is not the bruiser the Heat might like at power forward, but he’d add a scoring dimension to the position that the team lacks,” Deveney wrote.
It would be hard to justify taking on Robinson’s $90 million contract to help start a rebuild, but perhaps if Kuzma wants out as reported he will put enough pressure on the Wizards to create a path out and open the door for the Heat to slide in and add another quality young scorer to their lineup.