Most trade talk surrounding the Los Angeles Lakers has been about their interest in acquiring players, but little has been mentioned about what teams want from them. Kyle Kuzma is the most obvious piece that Los Angeles has been dangling. However, the Lakers are one of the top teams in the NBA and have many talented players.
While Kuzma has interested several teams, Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports is now reporting that teams are trying to land Alex Caruso.
Caruso has become an unlikely star for Lakers and has earned praise from his teammates. He may not be the most productive player on the team, but it’s clear that Los Angeles values him highly. He’s also beloved by the fan base, so it would be hard for the Lakers to let him go without receiving some backlash.
Pistons Could Be One of the Teams Interested
One of the teams that could be calling about Caruso is the Detroit Pistons. ESPN’s Jorge Sedano reported in January that the Pistons offered the Lakers Derrick Rose for a package surrounding Alex Caruso. Los Angeles apparently turned that down, which should show just how much they value the 25-year old guard.
Now, there’s no denying that Rose is a better player than Caruso. He’s been an MVP before and could win Sixth Man of the Year this season. That said, the Lakers are a very tightknit group and letting go of a player like Caruso could possibly mess up the rhythm of the team.
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Team Chemistry to Play Role in Trade Talk
“I’ve been told that the chemistry on these Lakers is something to behold; these guys really get along on and off the floor,” Charania said. “I think their GM, Rob Pelinka, really has to take that into account when looking at any changes that may be made. My sense has always been that the Lakers would only move Kuzma if they got a high-end rotation player, not just making a deal to add a normal shooter like what they kind of did last year in trying to get Mike Muscala by giving up Ivica Zubac.”
The Lakers should tread lightly in trade talks and they’ve got a good thing going. No, Caruso isn’t the most integral part of the team, but he’s an important member nonetheless. Rob Pelinka has made some mistakes in the past, but he’s clearly learned quite a bit. Making a trade for the sake of making a trade isn’t a smart way to run a basketball team. If the Lakers can’t get proper compensation for a player like Caruso or Kyle Kuzma, then they should pass up any offers. Obviously, if they can land a player like Rose, they should strongly consider making a move, but there’s no reason to mess up the chemistry to fill a position that isn’t a need.