Indiana Pacers: One Kyle Kuzma trade the Wizards can’t turn down

Kyle Kuzma, Indiana Pacers - Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
Kyle Kuzma, Indiana Pacers - Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports /
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Indiana Pacers
TJ McConnell – Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports /

How can the Indiana Pacers incentivize the Wizards to trade Kuzma

Quite frankly, the Wizards have no little to no leverage on the Kyle Kuzma front. First, they are somehow hard-capped this season and are also expected to go beyond the salary cap next year. Second, Kuzma is reportedly seeking not only a hefty raise but also a big-market team or a contender as his preferred destination in free agency.

On the flip side, the Indiana Pacers have a multitude of reasons to move on from TJ McConnell, as he’s occupying valuable minutes and role from younger players who need them more. Meanwhile, Goga Bitadze has once again been an afterthought in Rick Carlisle’s rotation, and all signs point to the team not re-signing him in the summer.

Indiana’s 2023 second-round pick from San Antonio is not only a sweetener, but basically the main return asset for Washington. With the Spurs projected to remain beneath the standings, that pick should be pretty valuable even if it’s outside the first round, especially considering the 2023 draft class’ extraordinary depth.

Sending another second-rounder to the Wizards should be the cherry on top for this deal to push through, and with the Pacers owning three first-round selections anyway, doing so shouldn’t hurt one bit.