Los Angeles Lakers: 2 Kyle Kuzma trades that can still be done

(Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
(Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images) – Los Angeles Lakers
(Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images) – Los Angeles Lakers /

2. A trade for P.J. Tucker

This is the exact same trade as the Derrick Rose trade but for a different player: P.J. Tucker. Kyle Kuzma and JaVale McGee would not get to play in front of their hometown fans but Kuzma would get to play on a big-market team that might overpay him for his salary desires, so long that they at least get rid of Russell Westbrook.

As for McGee, he adds much-needed size to the Rockets that could be valuable if the team retains James Harden. If not, he will simply be a buyout option for a contender in several months.

This trade could happen if Houston continues to go on the selling spree that many are expecting this offseason. There has been a changing of the guard with Daryl Morey now calling the shots for the Philadelphia 76ers. Both Harden and Westbrook have been in serious trade rumors.

Westbrook reportedly wants out of Houston as he wants to return to the Westbrook of old, being the main guy on a team, usually putting up garbage time stats. Harden, meanwhile, reportedly declined a $50 million salary and has made it clear to Houston that he wants to play for the Brooklyn Nets.

The Lakers could join in on this flash sale and add P.J. Tucker. Tucker only has one more year under contract so he is not going to warrant a huge return and a young forward like Kuzma probably would be enough.

Tucker would essentially replace Kyle Kuzma’s role in the rotation as a bench SF/PF and would be much better in that role than Kuzma. Tucker is a better shooter and a much better defender than Kuzma, two things that are instrumental in being a role player on a title-contending team.

Kuzma is likely gone after this season anyway as he is going to be a restricted free agent and some team will overspend for him in free agency (think Julius Randle a few years back). Might as well flip one guaranteed year of Kuzma, selling his potential for one guaranteed year of someone who is a much better fit on the team.

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It is not a guard but this allows the team to potentially use the mid-level exception on a guard in order to fill the hole that way.