NBA

Kyle Kuzma trade rumors: Lakers gauging interest in young forward, per report

The Los Angeles Lakers are fairly limited in how they can upgrade their roster this offseason. They have only seven players under contract for next season, but because of the hefty salaries owed to LeBron James and Anthony Davis, they are already over the cap. That means they probably won’t be able to pursue a big-name free agent, and after sending most of their draft capital to the Pelicans in the Davis trade, they don’t have all that much to trade either. If they are going to pursue a bigger name on the trade market, their only notable young player under contract is probably going to be at the center of the deal. 

That would be Kyle Kuzma, and sure enough, it appears as if the Lakers are considering deals for their 25-year-old forward. According to Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer, “Los Angeles continues to gauge rival teams’ interest” in Kuzma. What exactly they are looking for, and what Kuzma could fetch in a trade, remain unclear. 

The Lakers signed Kuzma to a three-year, $40 million contract last offseason that makes him fairly tradable. He has a big enough cap number to take back a valuable player in a deal, but the contract is short enough and cheap enough not to scare off potential suitors. Kuzma’s scoring has dipped significantly over the past two seasons, but his defense and rebounding have improved quite a bit as he has adjusted to life as a role player. 

The Lakers are seeking shooting and playmaking this offseason, according to multiple reports, and those are areas Kuzma has struggled with. Kuzma shot only 31.6 percent from behind the arc in the Lakers’ 2020 championship season, and while he improved to 36.1 percent last season, he dipped to a miserable 17.4 percent in the postseason loss to Phoenix.

Still, Kuzma remains confident in his upside as a player and scorer. He recently claimed that he was still capable of averaging 25 points per game and competing for a place on the All-Star team. That might seem unlikely based on his recent play, but remember, he averaged almost 19 points per game in his second season. His role changed significantly thereafter, and it would be hard to argue with the results after he won a title. Kuzma has openly lobbied for a steadier role. Perhaps another team could give it to him. 



 Source link

Back to top button
SoundCloud To Mp3