According to a report from Tania Ganguli of The Los Angeles Times, the Lakers are not desperate to make a trade. However, if the right deal comes along before the NBA trade deadline on Feb. 6, they would make a move.
Ganguli mentions that everyone is available through trade with the exception of LeBron and AD.
“Activity often ramps up league-wide in advance of the trade deadline, but the Lakers are still in a fact-finding mode. A person familiar with the team’s plans said the Lakers, who have the best record in the Western Conference, don’t plan to make any dramatic moves, but would be interested in improving the “fringes” of their team if the right deal arises.
To that end, the Lakers are willing to listen to offers involving any of their players except LeBron James and Davis, the person said.”
This news isn’t exactly shocking. The Lakers aren’t going to trade their two franchise players — especially when they have the best record in the Western Conference.
With that being said, Ganguli’s report confirms that Kyle Kuzma is well available via trade. With the Lakers inclined to have no problem moving forward without Kuzma — a 24-year-old forward that they made untouchable during the trade talks with the New Orleans Pelicans while acquiring Davis — it likely means that Los Angeles doesn’t believe the trio of LBJ, Davis and Kuzma will lead them to a title this season.
Lakers Initiating Trade Talks Regarding Kuzma?
The Lakers apparently are so inclined to move on from Kuzma, that according to Ganguli, the Purple and Gold initiated trade talks with the Sacramento Kings regarding a Kuzma trade.
“This year the Lakers would like to conduct their business more quietly, though reports already have surfaced that teams are calling about Kyle Kuzma. According to a person familiar with the conversation, Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka initiated a call with Sacramento to gauge the Kings’ interest in Kuzma.”
This coincides with a recent report from Marc Stein of The New York Times about how the Kings and Lakers could do a possible trade swap featuring the likes of Kuzma and sharpshooter Bogdan Bogdanovic.
It has also been reported that a trade swap of Kuzma for Bogdanovic wouldn’t interest the Kings. It’s probably the reason why there have been reports stating that DeMarcus Cousins and Quinn Cook could be included in the trade package — but that doesn’t appear to be enough to entice the Kings, either.
Lakers’ Interest in Other Veterans Via Trade
Over the past few days, there have been reports linking the Lakers to veteran players around the league. The most notable of them being New York Knicks forward Marcus Morris, Minnesota Timberwolves forward Robert Covington and Washington Wizards‘ Davis Bertans.
Despite the uphill battle and their lack of assets, the Lakers will hope they can make a personnel upgrade before the trade deadline in February.