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With the Phoenix Suns likely unable to bring in Kyle Kuzma, the soon-to-be free agent has been connected with the Houston Rockets and Indiana Pacers, according to Yahoo Sports’ Jake Fischer.
Kuzma, who has spent the last two seasons with the Washington Wizards in the nation’s capital, is set to decline his $13 million player option for next season and will hit the open market.
Phoenix has had interest in the former champion for several seasons but the organization may not be able to afford him due to its cap situation.
Meanwhile, the Rockets and Pacers are in huge need of a starting power forward, which puts Kuzma firmly in the mix, especially as both have room to work with under the cap.
The two organizations have the most cap room in the entire league. Houston leads the charge with over $47 million followed distantly by the Pacers at $12.8 million, per Spotrac.
Coming off arguably the best season of his career with the Wizards, Kuzma is expected to fetch a good amount of money this summer when he hits free agency. During the season, it was expected that his market value would be around $20-25 million when he hits the open market.
That’d be very doable for both the Rockets and the Pacers, especially if the latter is able to move some money around.
Joining either team will not give Kuzma an opportunity to become a piece of an immediate title contender as both teams are working towards getting into playoff contention. The Pacers exceeded expectations last season, nearly making the play-in tournament with a predominantly young squad.
As for the Rockets, they have a bit more work to do. The franchise finished with the third-worst record in the league at 22-60 but also have a nice stable of young players and a proven playoff coach in Ime Udoka.
Kuzma could be an important addition to either squad.
The 27-year-old averaged a career-high 21.2 points per game to go along with 7.2 rebounds and 3.7 assists on 44.8 percent shooting from the field and 33.3 percent from three-point range.
As for the Suns, they may be looking at potential trade candidates and Fischer threw out Boston guard Malcom Brogdon and Hawks’ forward John Collins as possible names.
Collins was heavily linked with Phoenix ahead of the trade deadline before the organization pivoted and acquired Kevin Durant from the Nets.