Kyle Kuzma has been a source of trade rumors for the past two seasons. He survived this year's NBA deadline, but in this upcoming offseason [whenever that is] it wouldn’t shock me if the Lakers finally move on from Kyle Kuzma.
A big question around the NBA, is how good is Kyle Kuzma? Some nights he shows hints of brilliance with his scoring ability and looks like a potential starter in the NBA. Other nights he has poor shooting performances which leads people to believe he's nothing more than a role player.
Three words to describe Kyle Kuzma; indifferent because some fans and experts still think he has star potential while others don’t.
Inconsistent, because you can't rely on his production on the nightly bases. Overhyped, because he plays for the Los Angeles Lakers which is one of the biggest brands in the NBA.
The media tends to give players a spotlight that they don’t deserve if they're coming from a big name franchise. These could all be reasons why the Lakers would look to trade Kyle Kuzma in the offseason. His contract is merely 3M dollars, but the Lakers have players that they can include in almost any deal.
The Dream Scenario
Zach LaVine would be the perfect fit for the Lakers because he gives the Lakers a legit third option after LeBron and AD. He’s also young enough to remain as part of the Lakers core after LeBron retires.
Kyle Kuzma would get the chance to relaunch his career in the city of brotherly love, and play without championship expectations like his first couple seasons in the NBA.
The Lakers would have to include some type of package of Danny Green, Kyle Kuzma, Alex Caruso, and a Future 1st Round Pick to make this deal work.
Getting Bradley Beal may seem like a long shot for the Lakers, but crazier things have happened in the NBA. Beal is one of the most talented players in the NBA. He’s a 3 level scorer and good defender as well. The Lakers would be the perfect fit for Bradley Beal, as he would shine next to LeBron James who loves to get his teammates involved, and also has shown that he doesn’t mind taking a back seat at times to superstars like Anthony Davis or Kyrie Irving.
Kuzma would get a chance to thrive in Washington's fast pace offense and would get to showcase his talent in DC. The Lakers would have to include the 2022 and 2025 1st pick with the package of Kyle Kuzma, Alex Caruso, Danny Green, Talen Horten-Tucker. The Lakers wouldn’t have any 1st round draft picks for the next five years if they pull this trade-off.
The Lakers were reportedly interested in Spencer Dinwiddie during the NBA trade deadline but failed to pull off a trade. With Spencer going into the last year of his contract, it will be several teams looking for his services. Spencer would be the perfect fit for the Lakers because it gives them another player who has a shot-making ability. It also allows the Lakers to have an additional ball-handler after LeBron James.
Who knows if the Nets would consider trading Spencer to the Lakers, especially since they may want to use Spencer in a trade package to land another 3rd star player behind Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. This wouldn't necessarily be the perfect fit for Kyle, considering the fact he may not get the touches he needs to showcase his talents in a contract year.
A combination of Kyle Kuzma and Caldwell-Pope if he opts into his deal would get this deal done.
Nobody knows what is going to happen this year regarding the 2019-2020 NBA season. Let’s say the season resumes and the Lakers don’t win a championship. I could see the Lakers going all in for Chris Paul in a championship or bust type of year.
Chris Paul has shown that he is still a top 5 point guard in the NBA. His ability to handle the ball, and dictate pace is something the Lakers could use. It would allow LeBron to focus more on scoring, instead of facilitating. His contract is super expensive and who’s to say if OKC wants to take on many assets to even make this deal work. Still, with the Lakers franchise in desperate need of capturing another championship, don’t be surprised if this deal happens.
With Paul’s 2020-21 salary set at $41,358,814, the magic number they would need to reach would be $33,087,051.20 in outgoing salary (80 percent). The Lakers can hit their target number by giving up the combination of Kyle Kuzma, Caldwell-Pope, Danny Green and Avery Bradley would have to be in the deal. McGee would push it over the top, or the Lakers could package Talen Horton-Tucker and Quinn Cook (provided they guaranteed his 2020-21 salary).
Reports came out earlier this year that Victor Oladipo and the Indiana Pacers had brief discussions on contract extension, and both have decided to resume talks later. Oladipo will head into the offseason with one year left on his contract before he becomes an unrestricted free agent in the following summer. With the Pacers skeptical of signing Oladipo to a long term extension, due to him coming off a serious knee injury, while his production had already taken a dip before the injury occurred. If the two can’t get a deal done, the Lakers should go after Oladipo's services.
The Indiana Pacers have shown this season that they can win without him, so it may be smart for the Pacers to trade him instead of resigning him. The Lakers could use a guard like Victor Oladipo, who has shown the ability to score inside and outside and is also a good defender.
A trade for Kyle Kuzma, Alex Caruso, Danny Green, and future 1st round pick could get this deal done. Kyle Kuzma would be upgraded offensive at the power forward position over Myles Turner. This would give Kuzma a chance to showcase his talent and ability while playing for a playoff-caliber team.
Devin Booker would be a perfect fit for the Los Angeles Lakers. He's a sharpshooter that would torch opposing defenses with all of the wide-open shots he'd get with Anthony Davis and LeBron James driving through the lane. Also, Booker is quite young and he'd be the perfect guy to lead the Lakers' new era once James retires. Next to Davis, he'd turn them into a perennial contender.
However, Booker is still under contract with the Phoenix Suns and there's no way they're trading him away unless they get a lot in return. He's the pinnacle of their project and the Lakers don't have much to offer besides James and Davis.
Booker looks poised to take a step forward on his career. He's already outgrown the Suns and he'd be a great contributor for any Championship contender, and perhaps he'll force his way out of the team after another losing season.