Kyle Kuzma opts out of his contract with the Wizards, AP source says

Washington Wizards forward Kyle Kuzma gestures to teammates during a March 18 basketball game against the Sacramento Kings. (AP Photo/Jess Rapfogel, File)

Kyle Kuzma will be a free agent when the league’s annual offseason shopping period starts next week.

Kuzma has declined his $13 million player option with the Washington Wizards for next season, a person with knowledge of his decision said Tuesday, meaning he will be a free agent. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because neither side disclosed the move.


ESPN first reported Kuzma had declined the option. The move was not a surprise: Kuzma had said to The Washington Post and The Athletic in December that he was not planning to exercise the option, and given what he will command on the market, his decision makes sense.

Kuzma is coming off the highest-scoring season of his six-year career. He averaged 21.2 points for the Wizards, who are finalizing a trade that will send three-time All-Star Bradley Beal to the Phoenix Suns. It’s possible that Kuzma could return to Washington on a far more lucrative deal; $13 million for someone averaging more than 20 points a game would be an absolute steal.

Free agency opens June 30.

Meanwhile, the Toronto Raptors announced Tuesday that guard Gary Trent Jr. has exercised his $18.5 million option for next season, meaning he will bypass the chance to be a free agent.

Trent averaged 17.4 points this past season for Toronto, his third consecutive season averaging at least 15 points.

Over his five-year career with the Raptors and Portland, Trent — the son of former NBA guard Gary Trent — has averaged 14.4 points.

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