It’s already been a busy week for Los Angeles Lakers rumors. They have a number of players set to hit free agency and while it looks like some could stay, it’s possible some could leave. The team will need to be creative with how they fill out the roster this season and one thing they could do is explore the trade market.
Their most valuable tradeable asset is 25-year-old forward Kyle Kuzma. He had a very promising start to his career but the move to have him come off the bench hasn’t worked out well. He’s not a great fit with the Lakers but should still have some value. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, there are teams that are interested in possibly making a trade for Kuzma:
After averaging 18.7 points a season ago, Kyle Kuzma adapted to a new role on these championship Lakers. He served as a scorer off the bench and flashed signs of his continued upside. Kuzma will be eligible for his rookie extension this offseason, and could discuss a new deal with the Lakers. The 25-year-old also could bypass an extension and use next season to continue elevating his value prior to restricted free agency. And then there is the option of a trade suitor with several interested clubs.
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Would Lakers Trade Kuzma?
Unless things have changed in the last several months, the Lakers are definitely willing to trade Kuzma. There were reports earlier in the year that the team was open to trading Kuzma to the Sacramento Kings for Bogdan Bogdanovic. If they were willing to make that trade, they’d probably be willing to make others.
The Lakers did fight to keep Kuzma during the Anthony Davis trade talks but it’s becoming clear that he’s an awkward fit with the team. He’s much better suited to be a starter. He was never able to make much of an impact off the bench. While Los Angeles really does like Kuzma, both sides would probably be better off if they parted ways.
What Could the Lakers Get for Kuzma?
Unfortunately for the Lakers, Kuzma’s value on the trade market has diminished quite a bit. Prior to this season, he looked like he was going to be a future star. He didn’t show that same promise this year. It’s fair to ask if he was just scoring a lot of points because he was on a bad team. He wasn’t able to turn things around when the bubble started. He some strong games but was very inconsistent. Kuzma only averaged 8.5 points a game in the Finals.
He’s not a bad player, by any means. However, his value is certainly less than it was last offseason. The Lakers aren’t going to be able to trade him for a star but he could help bring in a solid role player. He could be the centerpiece of a trade for somebody like Derrick Rose.