Lakers Rumors: NBA Experts Think LA Should Bring Back 2020 Champ Via Trade – All Lakers
On a recent episode of his The Game Theory podcast, The Athletic’s Sam Vecenie spoke with The Volume’s Jason Timpf about all things NBA, including your struggling Los Angeles Lakers, currently the No. 1 seed. 12 West at 6-9 p.m.
Both experts agreed that there was one player in particular who could be a perfect trade target for your Los Angeles Lakers, assuming the team’s front office, led by team vice president of basketball operations Rob Pelinka, is willing to surrender a little future draft capital: Washington Wizards forward Kyle Kuzma.
Kuzma, of course, spent his first four seasons in LA and proved to be a crucial part of the team’s 2019-20 title run.
“Kuzma is the one I keep coming back too [as a Laker fit]”He’s been great this year, first of all, as a legitimate shot creator who can get to that little shot up the middle, who can knock down threes — he’s actually become a “High-volume three-pointer. Shooter who’s confident and comfortable knocking down shots. I think he’s shooting 34, 35 percent from three.”
“You actually have to shut him down in a pretty real way, you have to pay a lot of attention to him when he has the ball because he’s very creative and because he’s gotten a lot better in my opinion as a passer. and playmaker.”
“The other thing about Kyle Kuzma is, we know that guy loves LA,” Vecenie added. “We know that guy wouldn’t mind living out the rest of his career in LA, which means I think they could move one of those two first-round picks for him, one of those of 2027 or 2029 initially, and feel safe and comfortable. that there will be a real return on investment, not just this year, but long term, because his Bird rights move forward. So that’s the kind of move that makes a lot of sense to me. And on top of that, you don’t have to move Russell Westbrook’s contract to be able to do that. Patrick Beverley’s deal actually fits very well within such a deal. Will the Wizards do better than, like 2027 unprotected or maybe like high – Two protected 2027 first round picks and an expiring deal for Kyle Kuzma? I’m not convinced they do.”
Timpf weighed in, agreeing with Vecenie’s prognosis.
“And let’s be clear, let’s put our GM hats back on… Is there any pick I’d like more than one where the competence of Jeanie Buss and Rob Pelinka is directly tied to the outcome?… I’m sorry, but. and with James and LeBron, it’s just one of those things where I’m with you. I think there’s a lot of value in these two particular picks that’s what’s particularly frustrating about this situation because they directly have the means to what reinforcements to give this group… He immediately solves so many specific problems with that Lakers group, he’s such a natural fit with LeBron James and Anthony Davis, I think it’s a no-brainer.”
It’s kind of funny that, just one season removed from trading Kuzma, a pick, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Montrezl Harrell to the Wizards in exchange for Westbrook, LA would have to unload another pick just to get Kuzma back. But it’s also the price of doing business, and Kuzma would serve as a wonderful on-court compliment to James and Davis, as Timpf notes.
This season, Kuzma is averaging 21.4 points on .461/.337/.705 shooting, 7.5 rebounds and 3.9 assists in 39 games for the Wizards, all starts. There’s no doubt he’d be a big help in bolstering LA’s frontcourt, while Beverley on the mound has offered very little for LA in a career-worst year.