Wizards should double down on Porzingis, Kuzma

Sitting in 11th place in the Eastern Conference, one place in the play-in tournament, the Washington Wizards (34-42) face a dilemma. Although the team has three exceptional players averaging more than 20 points per game, it can’t get off the treadmill of mediocrity.

One of those stars, Kristaps Porzingis, must decide on his $36 million player option after the season. Per Shams Charania of The Athletic, Washington wants to provide long-term stability with a four-year, $180 million deal.

In a similar situation to Porzingis, Kyle Kuzma could opt out of his $13 million player option before the 2023-24 season. After retaining him at the trade deadline, the Wizards are looking to secure another extension with the 27-year-old forward this summer.

Both players are in the middle of their career years. Porzingis is averaging 23.2 points and 8.4 rebounds on a career-high 62.7 percent true shooting percentage, while Kuzma is averaging 21.2 points.

Still, even with Porzingis, Kuzma and fellow star Bradley Beal, the Wizards risk missing the playoffs again this spring. Washington has made just one playoff appearance in the past five seasons.

Last summer, they extended Beal for five years and $251 million. Additionally, they have been active in negotiation, including acquiring Porzingis from Dallas in 2022 and Kuzma from Los Angeles as part of the Russell Westbrook trade in 2021.

They are not looking to go through a rebuild at this time. With Beal locked into a hefty contract, it makes sense for the Wizards to guarantee their co-stars on their own long-term deals.

Sports Grp1

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