the second LeBron James signed with the Lakers, their timeline was no longer about the things to come. The team had to go into “win now” mode. And although it took a full season for the Lakers to finally pull the trigger on a “win now” move, they might be on the verge of another.
Reports indicate that L.A. is “taking calls” on their young star forward Kyle Kuzma ahead of this season’s trade deadline. The price, however, will not be cheap.
The Lakers would also consider two potential lesser first-round picks as part of a package for Kuzma.
“They had to sort of sell out their draft picks to put this team together, with Davis,” the GM said. “They want to piece some of that back together so they’re in position if they want to make other trades, this year or down the road. It’s a high price they want.”
Why such high demands for Kuzma? The front-office really has no desire to give him up in the first place.
But league sources told Heavy.com that the notion of the Lakers pulling the trigger on a deal for Kyle Kuzma is still a long way off.
One general manager said the Lakers would ask for a high rotation player—preferably a point guard—who could bolster the chances for LeBron James and Anthony Davis to earn a spot in the Finals, as well as a first-round draft pick that projects to be in or around the lottery.
“It is not something that front office wants to do,” the GM said. “He was a good pick for them, a guy they brought in and brought along when they had to give up Russell. The Lakers don’t have a lot of those players they draft and develop. They don’t have to pay him until (2021-22). The whole organization thinks highly of him so if he’s traded, it’s only if they’re getting a lot back.”
Kuzma is exactly the type of young, scoring wing a lot of teams are looking for. Since his debut in 2017, he’s averaging 16.5 points and 5.5 rebounds on 45% shooting.
Though he has struggled mightily this season, nobody expects it to last.
Either way, he will be highly sought after in the weeks to come. The Lakers will have to choose just how much they value their young star forward.