December 15 update — Kuzma is playing Wednesday against the Kings.
December 15 update — Kuzma has been cleared from the league’s health and safety protocols, which indicates he was likely deemed a close contact and didn’t have a positive test himself. The Wizards forward is likely to play Wednesday against the Kings.
The Washington Wizards will be without forward Kyle Kuzma Saturday against the Utah Jazz due to health and safety protocols, the team announced. Kuzma arrived to Washington this offseason from the Los Angeles Lakers as part of the Russell Westbrook trade.
The forward has been a key part of Washington’s rotation this season, averaging 13.4 points and 8.3 rebounds per game in 32.8 minutes. Kuzma’s biggest improvement has come on the boards, and he’ll be hitting a career-high mark if he keeps up this pace in that category.
The Wizards are one of the surprises of the early season under first-year head coach Wes Unseld Jr., sitting at 15-11 entering Saturday. Washington was 10-3 at one point after a five-game winning streak but has come back to Earth a little bit.
With Kuzma out, look for Corey Kispert, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Deni Avdija to get more playing time on the perimeter. Kuzma’s absence might not move the line much. The Jazz are favored by seven points according to DraftKings Sportsbook, and would be favored anyway even if Kuzma was playing.