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Kyle Kuzma_ Grading Wizards’ 4-year, $102 million contract in free company

The Washington Wizards could also be headed for a full-scale roster teardown, however that does not imply that they’re going to intentionally be placing as horrible of a product on the court docket as they may. Bringing again Kyle Kuzma on a four-year, $102 million contract actually signifies that the Wizards, on the very least, would need to preserve property who might convey again items that make extra sense given their present timeline.

Nevertheless, have the Wizards merely fallen prey to the illness of mediocrity as soon as once more, chasing meaningless wins as an alternative of totally embracing the tank?

Nonetheless, listed here are grades for each the Wizards and Kyle Kuzma after the 2 sides got here to an settlement on a long-term deal that ought to preserve the 27-year outdated ahead in D.C. for the lengthy haul.

Wizards’ grade: A-

Does Kyle Kuzma match the Wizards’ rebuilding timeline like a glove? Definitely not. The Wizards’ roster might be boasting the likes of Deni Avdija, Corey Kispert, Bilal Coulibaly, three gamers who ought to see loads of minutes on the wing, so retaining Kuzma might find yourself simply clipping the wings of the gamers the Wizards should be growing with a way forward for playoff competition in thoughts.

However for the worth they managed to convey Kuzma again, it is onerous to qualify this settlement as something however a serious win for the Wizards, rebuilding section be damned.

Re-signing Kyle Kuzma for a median annual worth of $25.5 million per yr for the following 4 years borders on being a steal, particularly when taking into consideration how a lot his contemporaries signed for.

Is Jerami Grant that significantly better than Kyle Kuzma, if in any respect? Grant is actually a greater defender, and he is a extra environment friendly scorer than the Wizards ahead. However Kuzma needed to shoulder a much bigger shot-creation burden in D.C. than Grant, and the Wizards ahead is 2 years youthful as nicely. Is paying virtually $7 million extra per yr than Kuzma for Grant value it?

In the meantime, the Brooklyn Nets paid $6 million extra in whole for Cameron Johnson than Kuzma. Three-point capturing is a premium talent, and Johnson is a much better marksman from deep than Kuzma. However once more, Kuzma is way much less harm inclined than Johnson, and he is a significantly better shot creator than the Nets ahead.

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Merely put, re-signing Kyle Kuzma to a four-year, $102 million deal was a shrewd transfer for the Wizards, particularly for somebody who reportedly needed a contract value of round $30 million+ yearly. This permits the Wizards to, on the very least, not lose Kuzma for nothing in free company. And for a contract value round $25 million+, Kuzma, so long as he stays as productive as he was final season, will not be too troublesome to maneuver in a possible commerce as nicely.

Kuzma ought to stay a 20-10 risk in D.C. given the dearth of choices they need to depend on on the offensive finish, and he ought to assist the Wizards ease Bilal Coulibaly into the fray as an alternative of throwing him into the fireplace from the get-go.

Kyle Kuzma’s grade: B

Make no mistake about it, bagging a $102 million contract is a big win for anybody. So Kyle Kuzma, in that regard, might be getting a grade of A+. However within the context of the NBA, it is truthful to wonder if Kuzma might have gotten a much bigger contract, particularly when he is proper in the midst of his prime and coming off his finest skilled season up to now.

As mentioned above, Cameron Johnson and Jerami Grant each bagged larger contracts than Kuzma. Whereas the 2 play a complementary function at a a lot larger stage than Kuzma can (3 and D), one thing needs to be stated for Kuzma’s capability to behave as a workload sponge — a participant who can dominate the ball, create photographs from all three ranges, and be an enormous presence on the glass.

Furthermore, staying with the Wizards implies that Kuzma is principally accepting the truth that he’ll need to abdomen loads of losses for years to return. Certain, successful a championship might not be a urgent matter for Kuzma, since he is already received a championship with the Los Angeles Lakers again in 2020. However actually he might have discovered a touchdown spot the place he might have contributed to a playoff group (or at the least to a group near playoff competition) with out having to sacrifice cash.

Kyle Kuzma was linked to the Sacramento Kings in free company, with a transfer to a group that received 48 video games final season reportedly even gaining momentum at one level. That transfer would have been immense for Kuzma.

This isn’t to say that the deal he signed with the Wizards is essentially dangerous. However Kuzma could need to endure a couple of years of basketball hell in D.C. on account of his free company choice this yr.