Prior to the Los Angeles Lakers trading for Anthony Davis, they had plenty of young talent they could’ve fought to keep out of the trade. Instead of trying to hold onto Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball or Josh Hart, the team wouldn’t give up Kyle Kuzma. In hindsight, that hasn’t looked like the best hill to die on.
Ingram is now an All-Star while Ball is developing into a really solid point guard. Kuzma has had moments but he hasn’t been anything close to the third star the team was hoping he’d be. This offseason, it’s looking very possible that the two sides part ways. Fox Sports’ Shannon Sharpe recently went out of his way to rip into the forward when talking about the Lakers’ roster.
“Kyle Kuzma, I don’t know what the hell I’m going to get,” Sharpe said Undisputed. “I might get 22, I might get 11, but one thing I know for certain: I’m going to get some idiotic, some low IQ basketball plays on a nightly basis.”
Those are very harsh words from Sharpe but there’s no doubt that opinions on Kuzma are starting to sour, who was once considered one of the NBA’s most promising young players.
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Sharpe Believes Lakers Should Go After DeMar DeRozan
Kuzma’s trade value isn’t likely very high at the moment but he’s one of the few tradeable assets the Lakers have. The best option may to be include him in a sign-and-trade to another team. Sharpe believes that player could be DeMar DeRozan.
“Would I prefer to get Steph, Dame or Brad Beal? Sure, but I’d take DeMar DeRozan,” Sharpe said. “What the Lakers need is someone who doesn’t need to be spoon-fed by LeBron.”
The Los Angeles native is a free agent but the Lakers wouldn’t be able to sign him with their current cap situation. They’d need the San Antonio Spurs to be willing to do a sign-and-trade involving DeRozan. Kuzma would be a logical player to include as his contract extension kicks in next season. The Spurs aren’t in the business of doing the Lakers any favors but landing Kuzma would be better than losing DeRozan for nothing.
Signing DeRozan Would Have Positives & Negatives
DeRozan to the Lakers could make a lot of sense. He’s from Los Angeles, California and he’s been open about growing up a fan of the team. It would likely be a dream for him to come play for his hometown team. From the Lakers’ point of view, he could be a good addition.
He averages 20.1 points a game over his career and has been an All-Star four times. He’d be able to create his own shot without needing much help from LeBron James, which the exact type of player the Lakers need. However, he does have major holes in his game. He’s a 28.1% 3-point shooter over his career and mediocre on defense. Los Angeles has plenty of defensive talent on the roster to mask DeRozan’s issues but they don’t have the shooters. If the Lakers can add him, they should, but they’ll need to find an elite shooter before the season starts.