The Los Angeles Lakers have seemingly been very busy looking for ways to improve the roster before free agency even begins. The team seems to be involved in numerous trade discussions and much of that could involve moving on from two role players in Kyle Kuzma and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. Both have been offered to “almost every team” in the NBA, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (h/t Jacob Rude of Silver Screen and Roll).
Adrian Wojnarowski says the Lakers have offered KCP and Kuzma to "almost every team" in the league pic.twitter.com/e38eTZeTgB
— Jacob Rude (@JacobRude) July 25, 2021
According to Woj, the trade value for those two may not be very high; he specifically notes that they would not be able to get back a point guard of Dennis Schröder’s stature which is seemingly what the Lakers are aiming towards.
Still, Kuz and KCP especially have shown an ability to be impactful players on a championship team and some teams will certainly be interested in poaching either or both away as the Lakers’ lack of cap flexibility could lead to them making a trade that doesn’t net as much in return. There’s already been reports of talks regarding a Kuzma for Buddy Hield swap that could help fix the Lakers’ shooting word that helped doom their playoff chances this year.
Of course, trade discussions happening never mean that trades will happen. The Lakers felt confident that they could have returned to the Finals were they healthy and therefore may not feel a major need to make a huge move. One could also think that all these rumors about the Lakers’ desire to trade for a point guard could just be a scare tactic to get Schröder to re-sign on a more team-friendly deal. Or they could genuinely be looking to upgrade a position that was volatile during the playoffs.
Kuz and KCP are no strangers to trade rumors since becoming Lakers. It’s clear that the team is looking for improvements on a flawed roster but it does not appear as though they are desperate to move on from any of their players just yet. This duo just happens to bring value due to their proven contributions and their well-positioned contracts.