The NBA trade deadline is around a month away, as fans are starting to wonder who their teams should trade away, or trade for, in anticipation of the end of the regular season. As it pertains to the Los Angeles Lakers, it’s hard to find a viable trade target that the Lakers can attain to help contribute to their championship efforts. A common name discussed for the Lakers is Andre Iguodala from the Memphis Grizzlies, but it remains to be seen whether the Lakers can outbid other teams as they have nearly all of their draft picks over the next few years owed to the New Orleans Pelicans in different ways. There is, however, someone on the Lakers who has been mentioned by fans as a possible trade chip, and that is third-year forward, Kyle Kuzma.
Shams Charania of The Athletic is the first to report any tangible news of possible Kuzma trade talks, stating the following:
Several teams are doing their due diligence on forward Kyle Kuzma and viewing whether they can pluck the talented 24-year-old as part of their future from the championship-contending Lakers, but the Lakers value Kuzma as a core part of the future and are focused on making moves around the edges and not a major one, league sources say.
As Charania states towards the end, the Lakers still seem to want to keep Kyle Kuzma although other teams around the league may be calling the Lakers to see what it would take to acquire him. It remains to be seen whether the Lakers truly value Kuzma’s role on this Lakers team, or if there’s just not many offers coming in that would make them want to trade away their youngest (and cheapest) asset on the team.
As we’ve explained before, a Kyle Kuzma trade just doesn’t make sense for what the Lakers could possibly acquire, amongst other reasons. The Lakers are more likely to make those “around the edges” type moves, which might include signing Darren Collison to a deal, bringing him out of retirement.
However, this probably won’t be the last time that we hear Kuzma’s name in trade talks before the February 6th deadline. We’ll have to see if we just hear his name in more rumors, or if the Lakers will actually deal one of their last few players from years prior to this one.