The Lakers appear to be open to dealing Kyle Kuzma and the Minnesota Timberwolves have an interest in the forward, a source tells Heavy.com.
Kuzma is one of several names the franchise is monitoring leading up to the trade deadline on Thursday.
It was reported in early January that the Lakers were exploring ways to land Robert Covington. The rumored package was said to Kuzma, DeMarcus Cousins, and Quinn Cook. No word on whether that moves the needle for Minnesota, though the team is rumored to be looking for multiple first-rounders for Covington.
Kuzma is in the third year of his rookie deal. He is making $1.97M this season and he’ll take home $3.56M next season, though he is eligible for a rookie-scale extension in the summer.
Lakers Looking for Additional Ball Handlers
The Lakers have been doing their due diligence on the trade market and could be targeting a wing/ball-handler in the $12M range. Trading Danny Green or Kentavious Caldwell-Pope seems like a logical move given those parameters, though that is simply speculation.
Los Angeles doesn’t want to make a trade that negatively impacts the team’s chemistry, per The Athletic’s Shams Charania.
Kings Also Interested in Kuzma
The Kings also have interested in Kuzma, as our own Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson recently passed along. Sacramento reportedly offers Nemanja Bjelica for the forward along with a draft pick.
The Lakers wanted a different package, eyeing Bogdan Bogdanovic, who will be a restricted free agent after the season. The Kings weren’t interested in that offer, so Kuzma remains in Los Angeles.
The 24-year-old power forward has appeared in 39 games for the Lakers this season. He’s scoring 13.0 points per game while shooting a career-worst 43.2% from the field.