Lakers: There are only 2 Kyle Kuzma trade scenarios that make sense

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Los Angeles Lakers
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Trade Scenario #1

The New Orleans Pelicans are 13-25, good for 14th in the suddenly weakened Western Conference. Even though New Orleans has struggled thus far, there are rumors the Pelicans will now keep Holiday, because they’ve played better after reinserting Derek Favors to the starting lineup.

Holding on to the 29-year-old Jrue Holiday is incredibly shortsighted. There’s no point in leaning on Holiday – a player who’s too old to be in the Pelicans long-term plans – to try and haphazardly outpace the Portland Trail Blazers and the San Antonio Spurs, two squads with more experience and better records.

And if the Pelicans do somehow manage to land the eighth seed in the playoffs, their reward will be a four-game sweep at the hands of the Lakers.

It would be much wiser for the Pelicans brass to accept one more year of non-playoff basketball.  While at the same time allowing Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, and Zion Williamson to grow next to each other alongside another up-and-coming player, Kyle Kuzma.

Plus, the Pelicans would also get two excellent rotation players in Avery Bradley and Danny Green, both of whom will be under contract the following season.

Next year the New Orleans Pelicans will finally be able to go from a bottom dweller to a top-6 seed in the Western Conference, behind a starting unit of Zion Williamson, Kyle Kuzma, Brandon Ingram, Danny Green, and either Lonzo Ball or Avery Bradley.

The Lakers would hate to lose three key rotation players, but the addition of Jrue Holiday would easily give LA the best starting unit in the NBA. The combination of Jrue Holiday, Alex Caruso, LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and JaVale McGee would suffocate opposing squads on defense behind their incredible length and physicality.

The real impact of this trade for the Lakers would be on offense. Jrue Holiday is a bulldog, capable of getting to the rim at will. He’d be the best third option in the league, giving the Lakers an escape valve when teams like the Clippers or Bucks get physical with James and Davis.

Holiday has always said that he doesn’t want to play point guard. Instead, he’s more a shooting guard. The problem is, over the last two years, he hasn’t had the opportunity to suit up next to a better point guard than him, so he’s been forced to run the Pelicans offense from the 1 spot.

If he were to join the Lakers midseason he’d finally get a chance to play in space next to LBJ and AD. Holiday is averaging 20 points per game right now for the Pelicans, imagine what he’d do as the recipient of LeBron’s pinpoint passes with room to maneuver in after.

This trade would hollow out the Lakers vaunted depth, but come playoff time when every team narrows down its rotation. The combination of Holiday, Caruso, James, Davis, McGee, Rondo, KCP, Dudley, and Howard will be enough, even if the Purple and Gold don’t end up adding Darren Collison or another buy-out player.