Golden State Warriors unsurprisingly linked with trade for rival forward

Washington Wizards v Golden State Warriors
Washington Wizards v Golden State Warriors / Thearon W. Henderson/GettyImages

An 18-22 record has the Golden State Warriors searching for answers, not that they'll find it in the form of Pascal Siakam who was traded to the Indiana Pacers earlier in the week.

With arguably the best available trade target now off the table, it hasn't taken long for the Warriors to be linked with a move for another rival forward before the February 8 deadline.

The Golden State Warriors are reported to have interest in a trade for Washington Wizards' forward and 2020 NBA champion Kyle Kuzma

According to Hoops Wire's Sam Amico, Golden State is one of three teams to register interest in Kyle Kuzma as the rebuilding Washington Wizards look to add to their future assets before the deadline.

"League sources told Hoops Wire that the Memphis Grizzlies, San Antonio Spurs and Golden State Warriors are among those who could have an interest in Kuzma. Neither Memphis nor San Antonio would want to part with potential lottery picks, though, sources added."

Sam Amico

Given heavy responsibility of the Wizards' offense this season, Kuzma is averaging a career-high 22.2 points and 4.2 assists per game. His 45.6% shooting from the floor and 34.6% from three-point shooting aren't setting the world on fire, though they can be partly attributed to the pressure he faces on the 7-33 Wizards.

Chris Paul, Kyle Kuzma
Washington Wizards v Golden State Warriors / Thearon W. Henderson/GettyImages

Kuzma signed a new four-year, $90 million contract with Washington in free agency, but could be available to accelerate the franchise's rebuild. According to HoopsHype's Michael Scotto, "the Wizards would need future first-round picks beyond the 2024 draft with the potential to become lottery picks."

That's just what the Warriors could offer, with their 2026 and 2028 first-round picks tantalizing assets for rival teams given the franchise's aging core led by a 35-year-old Stephen Curry. The next question is whether they should offer up one or both of those picks for a player of Kuzma's level?

Is Kuzma a genuine second scoring option Golden State can put next to Curry, or have his numbers over the past couple of seasons been a classic case of inflated numbers on a bad team? That's what the Warriors will have to decipher before offering up at least one of those picks, likely alongside 2022 All-Star Andrew Wiggins.

Kuzma could have increased value in the form of his descending contract -- he's currently on $25.6 million this season but will make $23.5 million, $21.5 million and $19.4 million across the remaining three seasons.

The Warriors and Wizards already have recent trade history, having made a deal centered around Jordan Poole and Chris Paul on draft day in June last offseason.