If you thought you’d make it to the trade deadline without more Kyle Kuzma rumors, you are a very naive person.
According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the New York Knicks have had “exploratory conversations” regarding the Los Angeles Lakers forward. While Charania doesn’t expand on what such a trade would include, he does say that several contenders are interested in trading for Knicks forward Marcus Morris.
The issue with that is that Morris makes 15 million dollars this year. The Lakers would have to compound two or three other players alongside Kuzma just to match salaries. Trades sending out four players for one rarely happen, especially during the season when roster spots are limited.
The Lakers have several players (Rajon Rondo, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, JaVale McGee) who have implicit no-trade clauses and would have to approve any trades involving them.
The Lakers have reportedly talked to several teams about a Kuzma trade as they are looking for ball handlers or wing defenders but they do not seem to be in a hurry to trade the 24-year-old.
The Knicks are operating under new management as team president Steve Mills was removed from his position earlier on Tuesday, reportedly in part due to his desire to keep Morris rather than trade him for assets.
The Knicks may just be using the Lakers as leverage to create a bigger bidding war for Morris who seems to be one of the more coveted trade targets for several contenders, including the Clippers who tried to sign him during the off-season.