One of the most interesting things to watch this offseason is what the Los Angeles Lakers might do with Kyle Kuzma. He’s entering a contract year and reportedly wants an extension. While the Lakers are reportedly are “open” to extending him, there’s no doubt he could also be used as a trade piece to land a third star.
Rumors circulated recently that the Lakers could include him in a trade that lands them DeMar DeRozan. If that trade doesn’t happen, there could be other suitors, as well. According to LegionHoops, the Detroit Pistons are interested in Kuzma but it’s probably not going to happen.
While LegionHoops says the trade isn’t likely, a deal between the two teams could work. There are a number of players on the Pistons that could be good fits in Los Angeles.
ALL the latest Los Angeles Lakers news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Lakers newsletter here!
Sign up for the Heavy on Lakers Newsletter!
Derrick Rose or Luke Kennard Would Fit With Lakers
On the surface, the Pistons seem like a good trade partner for the Lakers if they’re looking to move Kuzma. The forward is from Michigan so he probably wouldn’t hate going to his hometown team. Plus, the Lakers have already been linked to Derrick Rose on a number of occasions.
There was word that they wanted to trade for Rose at last season’s deadline. The Pistons were interested in Kuzma back then but were reluctant to give up Rose, according to Heavy’s Sean Deveney. The former MVP is now entering a contract year and Detroit isn’t going to contend for a title. They would be wise to try and add a young piece like Kuzma.
Another Pistons player who would be a good fit with the Lakers is Luke Kennard. He has shot 40% from three over his career and is coming off his best season. Kennard is probably a better fit in Los Angeles than Kuzma is. He’s spent most of his career coming off the bench and could be a really solid sixth-man for the Lakers. A potential Kuzma for Kennard swap could be worth it for both sides.
Kuzma Not Likely to Get Big Payday, per Former Executive
The fact that Kuzma was one of the Lakers’ best players during their down years probably elevated his status as a star. Had he joined a team that already had Anthony Davis and LeBron James, he might not get talked about as much. According to former NBA executive John Hollinger, Kuzma probably isn’t going to get a lot of money on his next contract:
My projection sees Kuzma’s value escalating to a high of $6 million each of the next three seasons — only two of which are covered by extension — before the age curve starts bending against him. So a three-year, $17 million extension might be reasonable for the Lakers, but I can’t see any way Kuzma agrees to that.
There’s no doubt Kuzma hurt his value this past season. He was considered an up-and-coming star but now, he’s lost a little bit of that hype. At 25-years-old, it’s reasonable to believe that Kuzma is nearing his prime. If his prime is 12.8 points a game, he’s not going to get a big contact.
READ NEXT: Lakers Work Out Guard With a Lot of ‘Upside’: Report