As the last remaining member of the infamous Lakers Young core, Kyle Kuzma was expected to carry a big load for the team this season. Through 35 games, however, Kuz has yet to meet those expectations.
He has struggled to find his footing off the bench this year, averaging 12 points and 3.5 rebounds on 42% shooting. While there have been no outward signs of their desire to trade the young forward, his struggles have opened the flood gates of trade rumors, and reports indicate multiple teams with interest.
Apparently, the Lakers themselves haven't shut off the idea of trading Kuz. They are officially listening to offers.
Will Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka eventually send him packing to upgrade the Lakers’ roster for a title run? As our Shams Charania reported Friday, teams are monitoring his situation and wondering whether he can be had before the Feb. 6 trade deadline. What’s more, sources now say the Lakers have shown a recent willingness to listen to pitches for Kuzma.
And … we’re off — sort of. From the Lakers’ perspective, this open-phone-lines approach is merely a case of Pelinka doing due diligence as opposed to having substantive discussions. If only because nothing of real interest has come their way — yet.
Obviously they aren't looking to rid themselves of Kuz. It will take only a monstrous haul for them to consider moving him.
But with multiple teams in pursuit, it's hard to say how they value the young forward and what kind of offers teams will be willing to offer for him.
Either way, expect Kuz to be a major player ahead of February's trade deadline. As a young, scoring guard, he can help a lot of teams.