Grizzlies 'top' trade target seen as hard sell by current team

Jan 22, 2024; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Memphis Grizzlies head coach Taylor Jenkins reacts against the
Jan 22, 2024; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Memphis Grizzlies head coach Taylor Jenkins reacts against the / Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

The Memphis Grizzlies are en route to their first losing season since 2019-20, as they currently boast the third-worst mark in the Western Conference standings at 16-27.

Despite this, however, recent rumors indicate that the franchise could still look to be buyers ahead of this year's trade deadline, with numerous names being tabbed as possible targets.

One player, in particular, who has oft been linked as a potential trade option is Washington Wizards forward Kyle Kuzma, who, to some, is considered the "top" talent they should realistically look to pursue prior to the February 8 cutoff.

However, though Grizzlies fans and media pundits are high on such a hypothetical acquisition, as he is seen as someone who can serve as an answer to the team's small forward vacancy both in the now as well as moving forward, on January 23 ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Wizards are "very reticent" on the idea of parting with the 28-year-old.

Grizzlies trade target Kyle Kuzma a hard sell for Washington Wizards

"People are calling them. Teams tell me they call them and they're not getting counters from Washington. If you want to register an offer for Kuzma, fine, you can do it. But they're not at the point now where it seems like they're really active in maybe seriously trying to move him."

Adrian Wojnarowski

Amid perhaps his best season in the association, it's easy to see why the Wizards may be hesitant to move on from such a promising player while in the prime of their career.

Posting highs virtually all across the board, through 42 games played Kuzma is posting stellar averages of 21.8 points, 6.4 rebounds, and 4.3 assists on 45.5 percent shooting from the field.

However, considering Washington is just 7-35 on the year (league's second-worst record) and have missed the playoff in four of the last five years, there's a strong argument to be made that they should look to accept a full fledged franchise rebuild, meaning the stud forward should be viewed as a strong candidate to be flipped for future-leaning pieces.

With a few weeks remaining between now and February 8, there's still time for them to change their mind of the future of Kuzma, with Wojnarowski even reporting "It could change by the deadline."

With this in mind, the Grizzlies should remain diligent in talks assuming they wish to acquire him this year.