2. Kyle Kuzma
Kuzma was a Lakers first-round draft pick in 2017. He immediately jumped into the rotation as a 6’9 scoring wing who rebounds well. He spent four years in Los Angeles before being traded to the Wizards in the disastrous Russell Westbrook deal. The Lakers thought they were getting a third star, but things never work with the future Hall of Famer flanking LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
Kuz took his game to another level in the nation’s capital. His playmaking improved dramatically as his scoring jumped to over 21 points per game. The Wizards began a rebuild this summer, but they re-sign Kuzma to a four-year deal worth $90 million. The contract descends and could have fantastic value if the 28-year-old can translate his production to a contender.
Washington should sell before the deadline, and Kyle Kuzma is their top asset. The Wizards do not need to trade him but could be convinced for the right price.
Verdict: Kyle Kuzma continues to improve his shooting and scoring. He would certainly give the Lakers an offensive boost and bring size on defense. Fans know his game can be problematic on D, but joining a contender may help him lock-in.
Kuzma helped LA win the title in 2020 and his game has improved over the last three years. The Wizards want too much, but this is not the worst option for the Lakers if they can talk the price down.