Kyle Kuzma had a bit of a down year this season with the Los Angeles Lakers. The averaged PPG on percent shooting while also shooting percent from the three-point line. Kuzma was not the third option that LeBron and Anthony Davis needed, although it did not affect their quest for the NBA championship in 2020. The Lakers still won the NBA title despite Kuzma’s lack of growth as a player clearly showing how great the duo of James and Davis were.
But it won’t be the same road next year as many teams are coming back stronger such as the Warriors, Nuggets, Heat, and Clippers. The Lakers cannot become complacent with their squad because they might need a third star. Anyways, it might be time Kyle Kuzma found a new home because constantly being in trade talks every single year has probably not done his morale any good.
The Lakers have a host of options for getting Kuzma a new home because they can acquire great talent for him. By offering a package consisting of Kuzma and other role players, they can make major moves this offseason. The Lakers would also need to send its No. 28 pick in November’s draft, signing that player before waiting 30 days to make a trade for this to work.
Here are the top 5 best destinations for Kyle Kuzma.
5. Utah Jazz
Trade Package: Kyle Kuzma, Alex Caruso, Danny Green, Quinn Cook, Avery Bradley (player option), 28th overall pick for Donovan Mitchell
Donovan Mitchell, the Utah Jazz superstar, is a must-get for the Lakers. He was dominant in the playoffs this season and he is clearly on the rise to superstardom. Mitchell with the Los Angeles Lakers will be the third and final piece to possibly create a 3-peat if LeBron James stays healthy. Donovan Mitchell had a great season this year averaging 24.0 PPG, and he would be easily the best 2nd scoring option on the team.
The Lakers would have 3 leaders on the court and also a guy who will lead the Lakers franchise alongside Anthony Davis after the next few years of LeBron’s career. The Jazz will not want to risk losing Mitchell for peanuts if he requests an untimely trade, and Kyle Kuzma would give them a building block for the future. Kuzma alongside Gobert is a match made in heaven and Utah wouldn’t fall too far down the pecking order in the West with this deal.
4. Chicago Bulls
Trade Package: Kyle Kuzma, Alex Caruso, Danny Green, Quinn Cook, Avery Bradley (player option) for Zach LaVine
LaVine had a career year with the Chicago Bulls, dropping 25.5 PPG as the number one option on the team. He clearly flourished in that type of role because he had a great output all season long without ever looking uncomfortable. Quite simply, LaVine is on his way to being an All-Star in the NBA. Playing alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis will certainly help that progress so much more.
LaVine’s style of play suits Los Angeles greatly, and he will be a very valuable piece to the Lakers if they can acquire him. Kyle Kuzma has not been the third option the Lakers expected, and LaVine will immediately take that role with ease. There are a few perfect fits for a third option on the Lakers, and LaVine fits that bill. For Kyle Kuzma, playing in Chicago would do him good. Head coach Billy Donovan has been known to improve younger talents and he had a great season last year with the Thunder. Kuzma will be one of the focal points on offense, which he loves, and will be certainly committed to as a franchise cornerstone.
3. Washington Wizards
Trade Package: Kyle Kuzma, Alex Caruso, Danny Green, Quinn Cook, Avery Bradley (player option), 28th overall pick for Bradley Beal
Bradley Beal is the best option for the Los Angeles Lakers. LeBron James tends to turn good players into even bigger stars, meaning Beal could potentially become a superstar in Los Angeles. After all, he is already a superstar scorer. Beal averaged 30.5 PPG this season, higher than the output of both LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Beal also averaged a career-high 6.1 APG which means he is improving as an all-around star already.
Beal can be the spot-up shooter the Lakers desperately crave, while providing a perimeter scoring threat the Lakers haven’t seen since Kobe Bryant. The Wizards would rather not lose Beal for nothing if he requests an untimely trade, so Kyle Kuzma, Danny Green, Quinn Cook, Avery Bradley (player option), and Alex Caruso would be a nice return to pair with John Wall in the backcourt. Kyle Kuzma would appreciate a fresh start in the country’s capital where he could take a ton of shots, be the focal point, and improve his overall game.
2. Portland Trail Blazers
Trade Package: Kyle Kuzma, Alex Caruso, Danny Green, Quinn Cook, Avery Bradley (player option) for C.J. McCollum
McCollum is a professional scorer and one of the most consistent offensive players in the league. He averaged PPG last season as the team’s second option, even when famed shot-taker Carmelo Anthony joined the squad. McCollum is the scorer that the Lakers need because he has the skills to create for himself at any given moment to diversify a team’s offense. The Lakers have Anthony Davis and LeBron James on offense, but McCollum adds a third piece that puts the Lakers ahead of the pack in the Western Conference.
C.J. will have more success with the Lakers than the Blazers because he will have two superstars alongside him to free him up more. Meanwhile, Kyle Kuzma can be a valuable piece for the Portland Trail Blazers as he can fit alongside Jusuf Nurkic like a glove on a hand. Nurkic is a below the rim player who defends and scores inside, while Kuzma can shoot the rock and adds athleticism to the front-court. Playing with a superstar in Damian Lillard also means he has talent around him, potentially boosting his chances of being in the playoffs again next year.
1. Oklahoma City Thunder
Trade Package: Kyle Kuzma, Alex Caruso, Danny Green, Quinn Cook, Avery Bradley (player option) for Chris Paul
Chris Paul playing with LeBron James always sounded like a fantasy, but it might just happen. CP3 has yet to play in an NBA Finals in his Hall of Fame career, something that probably eats away at him every year. Paul has done everything in the game and deserves to be on a good enough team to win it all at least once. As Paul is one of LeBron’s closest friends, the entire NBA Universe is praying a deal goes through whereby Paul plays alongside LeBron and AD in Los Angeles.
Chris Paul is still one of the best point guards in the NBA, making the All-NBA Third Team this season. His playmaking is at a legendary level, and he is also a clutch player who can make big shots. Kyle Kuzma, on the other hand, becomes part of a rebuilding Oklahoma City squad which is perfect for him. He has guys like Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Luguentz Dort to play with, meaning he can take shots and improve as a franchise player alongside them. Kuzma desperately needs a chance to prove he has All-Star talent, and OKC gives him that chance.