Los Angeles Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma survived last year’s trade rumors, but now he finds his name floating around ahead of the 2020 NBA trade deadline. Kuzma has been the Lakers’ third scoring option this season. But shipping him off could help Los Angeles secure the final piece to a championship team. We broke down a few places Kuzma could find himself if he’s moved by February 6th.
Los Angeles is interested in bringing Pistons PG Derrick Rose on board to gain depth in the backcourt, and this move might benefit both sides. The Lakers would get the secondary playmaker they need, as well as a more efficient scoring punch at guard. Detroit would be able to add some youth to its frontcourt, as Blake Griffin has had yet another surgery while Andre Drummond appears poised to leave in free agency after this season. Kuzma was also raised in Flint, Michigan. This just might be a perfect fit.
The Grizzlies have made it known that they have no plans to buy out Andre Iguodala’s contract. That means they’re confident they’ll find a trade partner, and the Lakers have long been interested in acquiring him. The $17 million Iguodala is owed for 2019-20 isn’t ideal, but perhaps moving Kuzma to improve on defense will put Los Angeles over the top. Memphis is also a little loaded at power forward with Brandon Clarke and Jaren Jackson Jr., but it could pry the Lakers of another key player to help its own playoff odds in a deal. But how good could Iguodala be after not playing all season?
The New York Times’ Marc Stein reported that the Kings engaged in trade talks centered around Kyle Kuzma earlier this month. The Lakers were locked in on pulling Bogdan Bogdanovic from Sacramento, who is on an expiring contract. In this deal, Kuzma would be reuinited with his old coach, Luke Walton. The Kings would be able to keep Kuzma with its young core for a few years on a rookie deal, rather than shell out a hefty contract to Bogdanovic after signing Harrison Barnes and Buddy Hield for the big bucks. The Lakers would get an elite shooter at 6’6” who can also make plays for others. Not a bad deal, right?