With everyone healthy — as they were, finally, Wednesday night in a win over the Knicks — the Wizards see a logjam at the forward spot. Kristaps Porzingis and Kyle Kuzma started at forward, then off the bench came Corey Crispest, Rui Hachimura, Deni Avdija, and Taj Gibson, all of whom can be considered forwards.
Looking to clear some of that logjam, the Wizards are listening to offers for Hachimura, reports Shams Charania and Josh Robins at The Athletic.
Hachimura, who is set to become a restricted free agent in July, has drawn interest from several Western Conference teams in need of scoring, league sources said.
The Wizards also have received interest from multiple teams on potential deals involving star forward Kyle Kuzma, but moving Hachimura would reduce a logjam at the forward spots and place the franchise in a better position financially to focus on re-signing Kuzma and potentially re-sign Kristaps Porziņģis in the offseason.
Trading Hachimura would be a bet on re-signing Kuzma, despite persistent buzz around the league Kuzma — who will be an unrestricted free agent — has plans to bolt the nation’s capital for a brighter spotlight.
Hachimura is making $6.2 million in the final year of his rookie contract and will be a restricted free agent next summer. Hachimura has been a solid reserve, averaging 12.4 points per game (shooting just 32.4% from 3) and is a plus defender, the kind of player most teams look to keep on a friendly contract. However, with Bradley Beal making $46.7 million next season, Porziņģis weighing a $36 million option, and the Wizards not being willing to go into the tax for this roster, they may need to free up some cap space to have the money to entice Kuzma to stay.
Washington has some questions to answer heading into the offseason about what direction they hope to take the franchise — they believe this is a solid playoff team when everyone is healthy. Trading Hachimura would signal that direction plans to include Kuzma.