The Kings’ hopes of getting Kyle Kuzma seem to be officially over—so, what’s next?

Sacramento Kings v Washington Wizards
Sacramento Kings v Washington Wizards / G Fiume/GettyImages

The Kings had been linked to Kyle Kuzma for some time now. They want a big forward who can play defense, get rebounds, and push the offense to the next level. Kuzma checks all of those boxes, and, considering the Wizards’ current record, it did not seem impossible that they would move him for the right combination of draft picks and young players. 

The Wizards have only won nine games so far, sitting firmly at the bottom of the Eastern Conference just above the Detroit Pistons. At 28 years old, Kuzma does not necessarily fit the timeline of their rebuild and is the player promising to bring back the best return. 

Sacramento emerged as one of the top candidates to land the forward, but Mark Stein just reported that the Wizards are not moving him. 

What’s next for the Kings?

With this news, Kyle Kuzma, Mikal Bridges, and Jerami Grant—the three players the Kings most likely would have been willing to move a lot of assets for—are all off the table now. 

This is not as dramatic as it sounds, however. Despite their embarrassing loss to the Detroit Pistons last night, the Kings are not in a terrible position. They fell into PlayIn territory, but things are so tight in the West and move so much that the standings might change quickly. 

With games against Denver, OKC, and Phoenix, the Kings’ schedule is not a friendly one. There is still plenty of time to turn things around, however, and the Kings are under no real pressure to have a super successful postseason. Sure, we would all love to see it, but they just returned to the playoffs after a 16-year-long drought last season.

These things take time, and they don’t have to make a win-now trade just to make a move. There doesn’t seem to be a star available who fits the Kings’ needs, and Kevin Huerter and Harrison Barnes have been playing much better than at the beginning of the season as of late. 

Plus, Keegan Murray might just be their third All-Star soon enough if the Organization is just a little patient. So, if the Kings make any moves today, it will be to upgrade their bench. They have also been linked to Royce O’Neale and Dorian Finney-Smith. Both would be nice additions to help the Kings defensively. 

As mentioned before, there is no pressure to land another star now, but the Kings need to upgrade their supporting cast, especially the bench. The only two players who have had a consistent impact off the bench this season are Malik Monk and Trey Lyles. Everyone else has been very unreliable and that is not enough if the Kings want to compete for the playoffs.