Since his debut season in Los Angeles, Kyle Kuzma has been the subject of countless trade rumors. At this point, the young forward himself has learned to drown out the noise — but that doesn’t make it any less real.
The reality is, the young and promising Kuzma is the type of player that teams look for ahead of the deadline. And this season, there is reason to believe the Lakers are willing to cooperate.
With a shot to win the title, Kuzma’s struggles are seen by some as a setback that the Lakers just can’t afford to have right now. For the right offer, expect L.A. to take a serious look at dealing him within the next few weeks.
With the Lakers in win-now mode, moving Kuzma for the right veteran piece would make more sense than simply dumping him for draft picks. A rebuilding team in need of young talent would be a good fit, as would franchises with a strong culture that could help mold and improve the other areas of his game.
Perhaps no teams make more sense as trade partners then the OKC Thunder and San Antonio Spurs.
With the Spurs on the verge of a serious roster overhaul, Kuz could be the piece they need to start a major rebuild. As a young, teachable forward, he can be a valuable asset as they embark on their next chapter.
As the surprise team of the season, the Thunder could swap Galo for Kuz, who is a better fit with the timelines of Shai and whoever they draft with the haul of picks they received in the Paul George/Russell Westbrook trade.
In return, the Lakers would feasibly get a proven scoring forward who can stretch the floor and play in the closing minutes of ball games.
With just a few weeks to go until that elusive deadline, L.A. will have to decide soon what they’re going to do with 24-year-old Kyle Kuzma.