The Athletic: Hawks reportedly interested in Kyle Kuzma trade

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Controversy is brewing in Atlanta as national outlets take their turn talking about the situation that unfolded between Trae Young and Nate McMillan. The pair had a disagreement about shootaround and treatment, leading to Young not showing up to support the team last Friday against the Nuggets. The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported more details, but that’s not the only rumor circling the club. The Hawks have been mentioned in trades for the better part of the last month as the team underperforms through its first 24 games. And they’re continuing, as Shams reports the club is interested in a Kyle Kuzma trade.

“Several teams, such as the Atlanta Hawks and Phoenix Suns, have expressed trade interest in Kuzma, according to league sources. By the same token, the Wizards have shown interest in Hawks forward John Collins, and the sides seriously discussed a potential deal last offseason, league sources added. Overall, this surely creates a possible decision for the Wizards during the season of holding onto the potential free-agent-to-be or exploring what’s out there.”

Kuzma is expected to opt-out of his current deal this offseason and earn a new contract worth somewhere between $20 and $25 million next summer. He’s averaging 20.6 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 3.7 assists in the second season of his three-year, $40 million contract he signed with the Lakers in 2020. He’s probably a better offensive fit than JC, but he’s certainly a downgrade defensively. Kuzma is also older.

I’m not sure if this would be the ideal trade for the Hawks, but if they are ready to move on from the Collins experiment, it makes sense, considering he’s owed north of $25 million in each of the next three seasons. Then Atlanta can see what they have in Kuzma and re-evaluate their options next offseason.

Photographer: John McCoy/Icon Sportswire

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