It makes sense for the Lakers to try trading the wing pair. Their roster flexibility is limited, barring some good fortune with a Dennis Schroder sign and trade. Cap space is non-existent. Trading Kuzma and/or Caldwell-Pope is their best/only route to landing an impact third player next to LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
Kyle Kuzma trade rumors 2021
Whatever happens in this Lakers offseason, they will be among the title contenders. It’s all about maximizing that chance in 2022.
The Lakers are clearly keen to make big changes. Kyle Kuzma trade rumors will continue until he’s dealt.
Here are three potential deals for the Lakers to consider.
Deal with Cleveland
The future of Collin Sexton is unclear. He was apparently on the trade block. Then he wasn’t.
With the Cavs drafting third on Thursday, though, Sexton is likely available for the right price, particularly if Cleveland wants to draft Jalen Green or Jalen Suggs.
Kuzma and the Lakers’ first-round pick might not be enough for Cleveland to give up Sexton. It’s worth a try for Rob Pelinka, though.
Test the Pacers
Indiana has lots of good players. They also have a lot of committed money. It seems likely that at least one of Myles Turner and Malcolm Brodgon gets moved this summer.
Brogdon would obviously be the target for the Lakers. It would take Kuzma and Montrezl Harrell (if picks up his option) or Caldwell-Pope for the money to work, and then we’re into the picks.
The Lakers would need to send the 22nd pick in this year’s draft. Indiana would want at least one more first, so it would probably have to be an unprotected 2025 first rounder.
It’s another all-in trade. It’s also a trade which makes the Lakers markedly better. Brogdon’s ability to play on or off ball and defend at a good level makes him a great fit with LeBron and Davis.
Stay in California
This has been the most widely reported of the Kyle Kuzma trade rumors. Back to the Bogdan Bogdanovic days, Kuzma and the Kings have been linked.
It’s all been about Buddy Hield this time round. Kuzma, salary filler and a pick for Hield looks like the basis of a deal. Hield would bring elite shooting to Staples Center.
Where his offense would boost the Lakers, his defense might create some problems, particularly if they lost Caldwell-Pope in the deal.
An alternative is to look at Harrison Barnes instead. Barnes is a better defender, but his fit on that end is a bit clunky alongside Davis and James.
There are limited options for the Lakers as they shop Kuzma. Maybe something could work with Malik Beasley, but it’s hard to see either team being thrilled about that.