Mage should double on Porzingis, Kuzma
Sitting in 11th place in the Eastern Conference, one point behind play-in tournament the Washington shaman (34-42) faced a dilemma. Although the team had three standout players who averaged more than 20 points per game, the team couldn’t escape the wheel of mediocrity.
One of those stars, Kristaps Porzingis, must decide on his $36 million player selection after the season. According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, Washington wants to provide long-term stability through a four-year, $180 million deal.
In a similar situation to Porzingis, Kyle Kuzma could decline his $13 million player selection before the 2023-24 season. After keeping him to a trade deadline, the Wizards are looking to secure a new extension with the 27-year-old striker this summer.
Both players are at the peak of their careers. Porzingis is averaging 23.2 points and 8.4 bounces on a career-high 62.7% true shot rate while Kuzma is averaging a career-high 21.2 points.
However, even with Porzingis, Kuzma and fellow country star Bradley Beal, the Wizards are likely to miss the playoffs again this spring. Washington has only made it to the playoffs once in the past five seasons.
Last summer, they renewed the Beal for 5 years and $251 million. In addition, it has been active in transactions, including acquiring Porzingis from Dallas in 2022 and Kuzma from Los Angeles as part of the Russell Westbrook deal in 2021.
They don’t want to go through the rebuilding process at the moment. With Beal locked in a heavyweight contract, it makes sense for the Wizards to secure his co-stars in their own long-term deals.