Los Angeles Lakers: 3 Trade scenarios for Kyle Kuzma

(Photo by Jeff Haynes/NBAE via Getty Images)
(Photo by Jeff Haynes/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Los Angeles Lakers
(Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images) /

Phoenix Suns

The Los Angeles Lakers receive: Cam Johnson, Dario Saric, and a 2020 lottery-protected pick

The Phoenix Suns receive: Kyle Kuzma and Quinn Cook

While many are expecting the Lakers to trade Kyle Kuzma for immediate help short-term help, the Lakers know that they have a potential All-Star on their hands and will not let him go for cheap.

A stretch 4 capable of handling the ball, scoring in all facets of the game as well as an improved defensive game is not something you come by every day.

To an extent, Kuzma’s game has been stunted due to the Anthony Davis trade. Both share the same position and with Davis the far superior player, it is obvious that he would get more touches and the starting berth. The injury Kuzma received during his time with Team USA also did not help him this season.

However, a healthy and firing on all cylinders Kyle Kuzma is a game-changer. The expectations set on Kuzma this season were 20+points a game, in the right situation, he could easily achieve this.

The Suns could be that right situation.

A move to the Suns would be a good move for Kyle Kuzma.  He would be under significantly less pressure and scrutiny than he is now receiving a Laker. Using Brandon Ingram as an example, Ingram has pushed onto the next level with the New Orleans Pelicans. While this might have been the natural evolution in his career, Ingram seems to enjoy less media attention. This could be the same for Kuzma.

The Suns would provide Kuzma with a young and upcoming team that he can grow with. With the likes of DeAndre Ayton, Devin Booker, Ricky Rubio, and Kelly Oubre, Kuzma would have numerous players on a similar timeline to him allowing them all to grow together. This worked for Kuzma when he was playing alongside the likes of Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, and Julius Randle.

There is All-Star potential in Kuzma, with the right situation it can be realized.

Quinn Cook would be a throw-in to make the salaries work in this deal. A capable 3-point shooting point guard, Cook has yet to make a name for himself with the Lakers. It wouldn’t be shocking to see Cook being bought out in this situation.

In Cam Johnson and Dario Saric,  the purple and gold add length and depth at both the small forward and power forward position. The Lakers could still bring in a veteran via the buyout market or trade for one but Saric and Johnson this allows for the Lakers to bring in fresh bodies who are talented.

In Cam Johnson, you get a pure shooter with length. While his NBA production hasn’t been great so far, he was one of the best shooters in college basketball last year. He also offers defensive potential. His ability to stay in front of his man even at the NBA level so far has been impressive. Due to significant depth at the small forward position in Phoenix, it might be better to move Johnson to a team where he will get to learn from some of the best players in the league.

In Dario Saric, you get a veteran at the tender age of 25 years of age. A stretch 4, Saric is an average 3-point shooter but he is an above-average passer for his position. While he isn’t as good as Kyle Kuzma, he offers a more than solid bench player who will play his role and will help the team.

Saric might offer a level of consistency behind Davis that has been lacking this season,