Through the first 36 games of the 2019-20 NBA season, the Los Angeles Lakers are currently 29-7 and have the best record in the Western Conference.
While the Lakers have established themselves as a championship contender, there are still areas for improvement if they want to be the favorites now.
Due to the team’s salaries and lack of future draft picks, general manager Rob Pelinka and company are limited heading into the 2019-20 NBA trade deadline, but numerous teams have expressed interest in Kyle Kuzma.
Sacramento is among the teams that has tried to engage the Lakers in Kyle Kuzma trade talks, league sources say. The Kings know they would have to include sharpshooter (and soon-to-be restricted free agent) Bogdan Bogdanovic, for starters, in a Kuzma deal
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) January 6, 2020
Heading into his third season, Kuzma was viewed as the ideal third option alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Along with this major role adjustment, he has dealt with injuries and has been trying to catch up.
Since returning from his injury, Kuzma is averaging 14.0 points (39.3 percent from the field and 31.7 percent from the three-point line) in seven games.
With the Kings interested in Kuzma now, there is history with head coach Luke Walton, who gave him great opportunities in his first two Lakers seasons.
As for Bogdanovic, he would address two weaknesses for the Lakers: three-point shooting (38.3 percent on 6.9 attempts) and playmaking (3.6 assists). However, the 27-year-old is set to become a restricted free agent soon.
Over the past week, there have been conflicting reports about a Kuzma trade. As Kuzma was initially viewed as a ‘core part of the future,’ the Lakers reportedly have shown a ‘recent willingness’ to listen to offers for him.
After the Davis trade saga with the New Orleans Pelicans last season, Kuzma should be more prepared to deal with trade rumors this time around now.