The Washington Wizards continued to dive deeper into their rebuild, and again a player departs that wasn't entirely up to the organization.
Days after the Wizards worked out a landmark deal that sent superstar guard Bradley Beal, a franchise cornerstone for the organization for the last several years, the Wizards saw another prominent offensive player take the first step in a potential departure.
According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, Wizards forward Kyle Kuzma has officially declined his $13 million player option and will become a free agent.
Kuzma is expected to have his fair share of suitors, and while he did not completely rule out a return to the Wizards, their current plans may not be appealing to one of the most prominent players to hit free agency this summer who is coming off a career year.
Kuzma averaged a career-high 21.2 points to go with 7.2 rebounds for the Wizards last season and was a big name floated in the rumor mill leading up to the trade deadline.
"It's 100 percent an option. ... I've had a great time here," Kuzma said back in April. "I've developed my game significantly here, and there's good people here. I'd be a fool to say it's not an option for me."
"I'm trying to get better every year," Kuzma added at the time. "It's not about money, I'm going to get paid regardless anywhere [I go] and here, too. It's about can I come into work every day and be the best version of myself, can I help lead guys, can I make other players better, can I light up rooms? All those things matter when you're trying to be successful."
Enter the Phoenix Suns with an obvious need for scoring depth and true second-unit scoring option following their massive trades for Kevin Durant, at the trade deadline, and Beal over the weekend that has left them extremely top heavy.
The Suns will be challenged financially, but the hope is that they can move disgruntled center Deandre Ayton for some cap space and to get a number of players in return.
Depending on how much of Ayton's contract that the Suns can offload, while still bringing in talented depth, could determine what they could do to bring in Kuzma.
Kuzma would be a fantastic addition, but he would have to really be sold on a run at a title in Phoenix, which would be the franchise's first ever, and playing alongside Devin Booker, Durant, and Beal.
Regardless if Kuzma heads to the valley or not, the Suns will undoubtedly be in pursuit of Kuzma despite their limited capacity to do so.
There is a lot on sports social media to follow in regards to the Suns this season, who have already dominated headlines with the Beal acquisition, the trading of Chris Paul, and the firing of Monty Williams which led to the hiring of Frank Vogel.
Kuzma will surely be a name to watch, along with Ayton, and the players who would be willing to take much less to play for a Suns team pushing their chips to the center of the table in an effort to take home a championship.