One looming question surrounding the Los Angeles Lakers’ offseason remains: will Kyle Kuzma be traded?
Kuzma was the sole piece of the young core that was left out of the package for Davis, however, this did not stop Kuzma’s name from swirling around the rumor mill.
Going into this offseason, many deals had Kuzma paired with Danny Green in a package that would get the Lakers their third-star player. It appears that Rob Pelinka and the rest of the Lakers front office had a different game plan. Green was sent to the Oklahoma City Thunder for Dennis Schröder.
However, it is still an option that Kyle Kuzma will be one final move that the Lakers will make either going into the 2020-2021 season or at the trade deadline. There are two players that are heavily being rumored that the Lakers may be trading Kuzma for.
The first player is Derrick Rose. The Lakers already have a lot of depth at the point guard position with the addition of Schröder, however, there is a chance that Rose would be willing to come off of the bench. With the addition of Rose, it would leave Alex Caruso once again as the odd man out of the rotation after he has done more than proven himself as a player who deserves to be a contributor in the rotation.
The second player that the Lakers are rumored to be shopping Kyle Kuzma for is DeMar DeRozan. DeRozan would likely be the team’s starting shooting guard or another key piece to what is looking to be the best bench in the NBA.
DeRozan has one year left on his contract which will be paying him 27 million dollars. However, after that season, there is a chance that Pelinka will be able to once again work his magic and convince him to take a huge pay cut, or would let him walk in hopes of signing a superstar level talent.
Either of these options may be better for the well being of the Lakers in the long term. Kyle Kuzma has reportedly demanded a sizeable contract extension from the Lakers and his payday will be coming soon.
Unless Kuzma makes a big jump in this coming season compared to what he displayed last season, it would be hard to be comfortable giving him the money he is asking for.
Kuzma is still an enormous wildcard and a lot is still unknown about him. He has sky-high potential, however, in the system that the Lakers run there is a good chance that he will never be able to display his full potential.
Trading Kuzma before he walks for nothing could be the best option for the Los Angeles Lakers. Trading for a player like Rose or DeRozan would give the Lakers the flexibility to be major players in 2021 free agency.