The Los Angeles Lakers are still very much in the hunt to win the NBA title this year but Rob Pelinka should start thinking about how to improve the roster. Anthony Davis and LeBron James have been great all year but they can’t do everything. The Lakers don’t have too many valuable trade chips so they probably won’t be landing a superstar. However, they could land a former superstar turned great role player.
This has win-win potential. The Lakers need another playmaker and more off-the-bounce scoring, and the 31-year-old Rose not only turned back the clocks this past season but also was statistically better than ever. That may sound hyperbolic for a former MVP, but he outpaced his award-winning campaign in per-36-minute points (25.1 to 24.1) and assists (7.7 to 7.4) while also posting a better true shooting percentage (55.5 to 55.0).
That’s enough for the Lakers to sacrifice the remainder of Kuzma’s potential in acknowledgment of the fact that his game isn’t a great fit with LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Get Kuzma back to his native Michigan, though, and he should get control of the offense and a chance to flash his versatility. Assuming no one puts a great draft pick on the table for Rose, Kuzma could be the best long-term addition the Pistons can receive.
Would Lakers Trade Bradley?
While Bradley proved to be one of the Lakers’ most valuable role players this season, he could have a hard time fitting in with this team going forward. Nobody will admit it but it’s hard to imagine the team is stoked that Bradley sat out of the NBA reboot in Orlando. He has perfectly valid reasons for doing so but his decision might not sit well with others. If the Lakers fail to win the title because of a lack of 3-point shooting and perimeter defense, it’s going to be hard for the Lakers not to be irritated with Bradley.
Now, if they win the title, Los Angeles will probably be quicker to forget about Bradley’s absence. He’s an important role player for the team and is under contract for next year but Rose is somebody who can run the offense when LeBron James is on the bench. It’s very important the Lakers find a player who can do that this offseason.
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Should Lakers Give up on Kuzma?
Kuzma has been at the center of trade rumors for years now but the Lakers have worked hard to keep him. Unfortautnely, he just seems to be a bad fit with this team. His defensive improvements are impressive but he hasn’t shown the ability to consistently score off the bench.
In games that he’s started this year, he’s played much better. As long as Anthony Davis and LeBron are on this team, it’s going to be hard to have Kuzma start a lot of games. He’d be a better fit in Detroit and Rose would be a better fit in Los Angeles. It’s a move the Lakers should strongly consider if the Pistons are open to a move.
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